Why PR is Like “The Voice”

I admit it, I watch “The Voice”. Not for the celebrity judges’ playful The Voicebanter or even for the dramatic back stories on contestants, but for the first few episodes when each singer performs without the judges seeing their appearance. They each make a distinct impression, clearly expressing their tone and style while competing for the judges’ attention. Once selected, they must keep the judges’ and audiences’ interest while proving why they are the best. Is this so different from PR?

PR pros use words to craft a specific picture of an organization’s identity and then proactively communicate its key messages and vision—its “voice”, if you will—to a community of journalists and analysts.  Then we coach the senior executives to go head-to-head against industry competitors by playing up strengths and staying true to the company’s mission. Once the industry gets to know a particular player, they often become fans and regularly “follow” them – in the media, on social channels and at industry events.

While “The Voice” obviously isn’t the same thing as the world of PR (for the record, I’ve never sung to a reporter), the show does highlight some of the basic tenets of successful PR—namely the importance of grabbing attention by making a strong, positive impression, continuing the initial momentum with a consistent identity and messages, and understanding the needs of your “fan” base to keep your organization and its offerings relevant.

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