Pop queen Beyoncé released her new album last Friday without any prior warning and the entertainment world came to a halt.
Or so it seemed anyway for Beyoncé’s album seemed to be the only topic consumer media wanted to talk about.
Once announced on iTunes, the release of the self-titled album produced more than 1.2 million tweets in 12 hours and sold 80,000 copies in the first three hours.
Those ‘crazy-in-love’ with Beyoncé had gone into overdrive.
If you don’t believe me, look at TIME magazine’s real-time map of Beyoncé-related album launch tweets.
This strategic approach was taken because Beyoncé wanted to create an explosion in the media. She wanted people to “immerse” themselves in the whole Beyoncé experience.
Once a press release had been distributed, Beyoncé released 30 seconds of every song, in video format, prompting people to talk about the whole album – not just one particular song – sparking a chain-reaction across multiple social media platforms.
This visual album provided her flock of fans and the media with so much content to talk about. The release, the songs, the videos, the clothes, the appearance and influence of her husband Jay-Z, her baby Blue Ivy and her mother, are some of the range of topics that were appearing on social media and newspaper websites rapidly following the release.
The music videos quickly appeared on radio stations websites like Songza and tracks from the albums were being integrated into pop and R&B playlists by the Friday afternoon.
She followed the album launch by releasing tour dates, which if you hadn’t guessed, sold out quickly, prompting a second wave of tour dates to cater for her adorning fans.
Arguably, Beyoncé is such a high calibre of celebrity that anything she does, regardless of the method it is achieved, would have made sales and drummed up media attention.
However, her launch proved that supposedly non-traditional forms of reaching target audiences are becoming more prevalent. For example Cadbury’s use of Facebook and Google + for product launches should be considered when creating a campaign.
Integrated campaigns provide the opportunity to increase exposure across multiple platforms, allowing you to reach and communicate with your target audiences, regardless of whether you’re megastar, a start-up or a brand.
Beyoncé and her PR team understand her own worth in areas that aren’t purely focused on music and this gives her power and influence over various aspects of the media including fashion, art and feminism.
She knows exactly how to engage with her fans and give them what they want, when they want it.
Not many people could have such an impact but she’s a reputable brand in her own right and certainly achieved her goal of causing a stir.
But PR practitioners can all learn lessons from her about managing brand reputation and increasing exposure.
The challenge now is for other brands to come up with unpredictable communications strategies that capture the imagination of their target audiences.
At Calacus, we have worked with a wide range of celebrities and know how to leverage their profile for our clients.
But we also know how to create talkability around unknown organisations and brands, helping them to use social media and traditional techniques to engage their audiences.
By Kourtney Shaw