The PR Machine

We’ve all heard the term PR machine…’s a steamroller, baby. Anyone standing in the way ought to jump off the tracks right now, lest you get run over and never realize what hit you.

We’ve heard that Lady Gaga is going to have a really big year. That’s very cool. The price we’re going to to pay for her having a great year is going to be excruciating. I’m already tired of the cat fights she’s involved with. Joan Rivers, Kelly and Sharon Osbourne are documented in international stories telling about some kind of conflict Lady G has with these women.

Wouldn’t you expect the news to be glowing about a year ahead that is supposed to be spectacular rather than littered with controversy? Logic tells you it should be so, but it isn’t how media works. More importantly, Lady G doesn’t have a publicist. Nope, she doesn’t have a publicist.

She has an army of publicists who meet and brainstorm ways to keep her name in front of the media where controversy is the center of her story. And sometimes [wink] they even make stuff up with the permission of the other party. Why would someone do that you ask.

Controversy is what makes the media tick. Bad news spreads like wildfire and good news travels at a snail’s pace.

Doesn’t this hurt her reputation? Heck no. Controversy is Lady G’s brand. Any talent the woman has is surpassed by outrageous performances and even more outrageous outfits, makeup and situations that ensure she is the center of attention wherever she goes.

Am I suggesting you start stirring up controversy to get media attention? No.

It may well be in your best interest to hire a team of marketing specialists who have different strengths. If each person on the team takes your story through their channels, your chances of getting full coverage in the right marketing niches with good news becomes much higher.

Sharing dirty laundry in the media is one thing. It’s not the right thing, and it generally only works for those who’ve already established name recognition with a widespread group of media who have widespread readership. People like to hear the dirt. That’s not what music is about, so you can be the judge in how to handle a very real manipulation of entertainment news.


About scout66

2017 marks the 33rd year of Janet Hansen’s career as a music marketing specialist. With three Grammy award-winning campaigns to her credit, Hansen has also contributed to the legacy of two of history’s most popular songs. “Classical Gas” by Mason Williams is the most-broadcast instrumental tune in history; and “Louie, Louie” by The Fabulous Wailers is the most-recorded rock song in history. In 2009 Hansen launched the unique music platform Scout66 to encourage reviews of live shows from the ticket-buying public. You may contact Janet at for information on consulting, campaigns, and tour support. Please follow us on Twitter at
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