The Oscars are just a few weeks away and one of this year’s top nominees, “A Star Is Born,” had a whirlwind press junket that perfectly encapsulates how the effective marriage between PR and content can leave a memorable, lasting impression. Star Lady Gaga has been making the publicity rounds for months promoting the film, and if this press junket proved anything, it’s that her bad romance with the media is over. If you’ve even remotely paid attention to all of the buzz surrounding this film, then you’ve probably heard Gaga say some variation of this little nugget somewhere between five to 57 times:
“There can be 100 people in a room and 99 don’t believe in you, but all it takes is one and that was Bradley Cooper.”
There’s a reason this has gone viral and sparked countless memes and parodies—it’s brilliant on so many levels, from both a content and PR standpoint. For starters, kudos to Gaga for sticking to her talking points at every. single. turn. Most PR professionals can’t buy that sort of commitment and dedication from the individuals they’re advising. From a public relations point of a view, it’s a quippy piece of commentary that’s gained so much traction because it’s immediately memorable and quotable. The reason being is that, from a content standpoint, it tells an entire story in an engaging, picturesque way in just a matter of seconds.
That single quote is a beautiful, dirty, rich mélange of the perfect spokesperson spouting an expertly crafted earworm of a talking point who takes care to make sure she drives this key message home each and every time. It’s the true power of creative, resonant content plus the targeted, disciplined application of the PR machine.
So, what lesson can we learn from Mother Monster here? It’s that effective content that tells a relatable story is the foundation of any and all successful PR pushes, whether you’re simply pitching a story angle or promoting a massive blockbuster movie. Content plays an aspect in every cog in the PR machine, from commentary, media relations/interviews, press releases, bylines, speaking and awards, thought leadership and everything in between. Don’t believe me? Let’s break each of those down piece by piece.
- Commentary: A news outlet will only run the most enlightening, profound pieces of commentary. Typically, those are talking points like Lady Gaga’s that are either immediately sticky, tell an entire story in very little real estate or provoke some sort of emotional response when seen. If you’re lucky, maybe you can hit the trifecta like Gaga does.
- Media Relations/Interviews: For successful media relations and interviews, you need a fully plotted out plan of action. That means every word, syllable and pause is crafted with specific purpose and intent. Before your spokesperson can talk the talk and look like an expert in any interview, they need the content and messaging built out that allows them to do so.
- Press Releases: The press release is your first big chance at making an impression and getting your latest message across. It may be one of the more antiquated PR tools, but it’s a staple for a reason. That first announcement is key for shaping and driving the rest of your story and narrative forward. That means every inch of real estate in a press release should be maximized with clear, concise content that informs and leaves people wanting more.
- Bylines/Thought Leadership: Publications are inundated with content by hopefuls looking to get their name in metaphorical lights. Getting a byline placed or showcasing thought leadership means telling a story that no one has ever told before in a way that only you can tell it. That means coming with a unique point of view and stance that resonates, inspires and stands out. Creating that sort of content is easier said than done, but the bolder and more controversial you can be, the better your chances. Having the research, data and points to back up this stance will only solidify your credibility and further prove your expertise on a given subject.
- Speaking and Awards: You want the opportunity to speak in front of hundreds or thousands of influential people? You need to boil down what it is you’ll be saying into a single, influential abstract that hits on all your salient points. That first chunk of content can make or break your chances. The same thing goes for awards submissions. You’ve got one shot to convince a judging body that you’re worthy of recognition, so you’ve got to bring your content A-game if you want to go home with some hardware.
If you come away from this post with just one thing, it should be that a well-oiled, high-performing PR engine needs content that’s far from the shallow now.