Everyone knows Miley Cyrus: the Disney star gone bad who defaced a foam finger during the 2013 MTV Music Awards and rode a wrecking ball – or “moon” as my mom naively calls it – naked.
In light of how she has managed to rekindle her fame and get everyone talking, I’m led to believe she could probably teach us a thing or two about public relations.
5 PR Lessons I Learned From Miley Cyrus:
1.) Old news is only a makeover away from being new news.
That’s right, shave Hannah Montana’s head, and bam! Instant fame for Miley. She’s still the same person, only cooler and more relevant.
How does this apply to PR? Well, a story or a business you thought was old news may still have legs if you do some rewording and add a fresh perspective – something we PR pros have a knack for. However, this is more difficult than it sounds. If it wasn’t, Britney Spears’s head shaving stunt would have had the same effect as Miley’s. And we all know it didn’t. (Sorry Britney.)
2.) Sometimes it’s better NOT to leave things to the imagination.
Why should Miley wear pants – or any clothing for that matter- and mask the truth of what she’s really working with?
This is essentially the name of the game when pitching to reporters. Why hide your story idea in the midst of four paragraphs when you can allow it to be fully exposed in as little as one?
Strip down that pitch and let it fly in like a wrecking ball! It works – just ask Miley’s business manager.
3.) Relationships don’t last forever.
All it took was scandalous pictures of Liam Hemsworth with another woman surfacing and the engagement and almost four-year relationship was off. Miliam (my attempt of making a cutesy name like Brangelina) was no more. But did Miley crawl in a cave in cry? No. She whored that sad story out there in the form of a hit song and made bank. Take that, Liam.
In PR, strong go-to relationships with reporters don’t always last. Reporters get new beats, change affiliates, and sometimes even careers overnight. You can’t let that get you down. You don’t have to write a sad story about it, but you should be prepared to get back up on that wrecking ball and start tearing down barriers with new contacts because when it comes to delivering relevant, well-written stories and pitches, you *singing* “Can’t stop. And you won’t stop.”
4.) Drugs aren’t bad for you.
Who am I kidding? They are very bad for you. Plus, they make you do crazy things like perform in panties with a giant bear strapped to your back and deface foam fingers. I learned that from Miley, too.
5.) Reinvention and change can be good. (Before you read into this, I voted for Romney. Not that it’s any of your business)
Just as there are mad Hannah Montana fans and mothers of teenage daughters in the world, there are those who respect and admire Miley’s newly embraced transparency and minimalist wardrobe.
The world is ever-evolving and so are the people in it. If you are ruffling feathers or going against the grain, you’re already more relevant than most. Don’t be the person who is faxing pitches to reporters, friending television producers on myspace or investing in the next big app made strictly for Blackberry.
Keep your eyes and ears open. You never know what and who you’ll learn your next great life/PR lesson from– maybe even Miley Cyrus.