Nothing like completing something 4 hours before it is due right? Yeah I know, not good. However, I have learned that in the public relations field it is necessary to have great time management skills, as well as many others. Guess what? This post beats the 8 a.m. deadline, so I am okay. Am I doing this on purpose to give myself something to write about? Possibly. Don’t judge me. I have a purpose for all of this seriously. This field involves a lack of sleep, great time management, and the ability to see a challenge and make it an opportunity.
So what am I really talking about? Timing, strategy and messages in the world of music. The reason for my post this evening (see I am coming full circle here) is due to the Video Music Awards being aired and the digital release of one of the most anticipated albums of the year a few hours ago.
My roommate and I often talk about what my degree is and isn’t about. He is really confused on what we actually study. Today I finally got a chance to lay some knowledge on his science driven grad school self. Some of this knowledge involved Monroe’s motivated sequence and the five steps to message development. So we discussed a few things from class and then I presented the following arguments too him (I’m sorry about the length by the way, conciseness is a PR skill I am developing).
Monroe’s Motivated Sequence:
- Attention – Acquire your audience’s attention
- Need – Identify the audience’s problem or opportunity
- Satisfaction – Present a solution that is mutually beneficial
- Visualization – Show the consequences of inaction
- Action – Convince them to go solve or fix the problem
Logically the only thing that matters in the music world is making the most money and producing the music that you want. So assume that is the logical intent for an artist. So then we set goals, I want to be the best. How do we measure that? Well I’d say you’d have to beat all the record sales, so sell more CDs than Lady Gaga did in a week (over a million). How are we going to accomplish that? Create good music, followed by great strategically planned publicity.
Let’s begin, Lil Wayne went to jail for a short sentence earlier this year which pushed back the date of his CD drop. Then when he was released, he finished the CD, and a date was set to release. Then the CD was pushed back even further. I pointed out to my roommate that this was a first of many attention grabbers. Fans are definitely aware of this coming CD. Release dates kept being pushed back, first from May to June, then to August. Then Wayne did something no one saw coming, he released a free mix tape titled Sorry 4 the Wait July 13th. This was his apology to his fan base for waiting so long for the CD. I don’t see an apology, I see a well strategized PR plan that pushed him back into the limelight and drew more attention to his new release date August 29, 2011.
Next thing to consider is the fact that “somehow” the new CD leaked August 24, 2011. My bet is that was intentional. Not all 19 songs were leaked. Just the necessary ones, such as the song “It’s Good.” In it Wayne is explicit about his problems with another rapper, Jay-Z. It became an instant trending topic on twitter and Wayne once again created media frenzy. Everyone wanted to about this drama between the two. Boom, found the need, just one reason people will buy the CD will be to find out what else Wayne says about people in the music industry.
Then don’t think that it’s a coincidence that Lil Wayne’s New CD, Tha Carter IV, is being released the day after the most watched music award show each year. Wayne not only performed during the show, he was the closing act. MTV also added plugs at the very end about his digital copy being available online at midnight (satisfaction).
The visualization was created by the hype around the CD. People who are interested in this genre assume all of their friends are going to buy the CD; they don’t want to be the one to not know what everyone else is talking about in the following 48 hours.
So now we have action. All of the months of hype have built up to this. I have barely listed a tip of the ice burg of the publicity that really occurred. The idea of targeting publics, interviews, shows, etc. It is awesome to think how influential our field is. I’m not a fan, but personally I hope he sells a million copies so people stop talking about Lady Gaga. I thought dressing crazy and having alternate personalities was so 1999, ask Garth Brooks/Chris Gaines.