I’ll admit, I’m a self-confessed Taylor Swift fan – I’m a ‘Swiftie’ – and yes, I’m proud of it.
However, if you’re not a fan and have absolutely zero interest in her (or her cats or ‘squad’) then first of all: we can’t be friends. Second: don’t worry, this won’t be some typical fan-girl blog… but when one of the most influential, successful and talked about music-moguls in the WORLD, just released her new album titled ‘REPUTATION’ and we have been set the task to write PR Blogs?
Well, this was a no-brainer (and I’m joking about my first point, promise!)
Yes, it can be said that I’ve been through every ‘Swift era’; from the ‘old’ guitar-playing, curly-haired, country teen singing about Romeo and Juliet, to the sassy pop-star singing about the magical feelings of turning 22, to the 2014 Taylor who asked us all to ‘shake off’ the ‘haters and the players’ to the rebranded, shady ‘new’ “I don’t give af” DIVA that she is today.
So, how did Taylor manage to do this?
The answer is simple: she has a helluva-mighty PR team.
Let’s take it back to the beginning… and THAT Kanye West infamous interruption at the 2009 VMAs when Taylor won Best Female Video. Kanye rolled up (sunglasses firmly on his head) and took her microphone “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you and I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! All time!” (#ClassicKanye).
I’ll never forget Beyoncé’s shocked reaction, “Oh Kanye. Oh God.”
Oh God indeed. He was then booed off by the audience.
Fast forward through the years and things had improved between the pair.
That is, until good ol’ Kanye strikes again. *cue eye-roll emoji here*
This time, in a reference about Tay in his 2016 song ‘Famous’ he claimed – “I made that b**** famous.” Swifty clearly wasn’t happy and called Kanye out at the GRAMMY’S (as you do). However, everybody knows Kim Kardashian, right?
Kanye’s wife who has a gazillion social media followers.
Kim claimed Taylor had approved the line and posted Snapchat videos of Kanye discussing one part of the song with Taylor… although this ‘evidence’ only showed Tay hearing one particular lyric.
“I swear I don’t love the drama – it loves me!” a lyric that sums up the Taylor Swift of Reputation, according to Rolling Stones.
Taylor’s nice girl ‘reputation’ in the public eye hit a low when Kanye and Kim ‘outed’ her and she was denounced the worst thing you could call someone in our modern-digital-era: a SNAKE *cue snake emoji*
This snake emoji followed Taylor on social media – no matter what she posted, she would be in-undated with thousands of snakes… so much so, Taylor was the first Instagram user in the world to disable comments from all posts.
Then the most dramatic day of Taylor Swift history happened.
“They never see me coming – what I do next…” another lyric from Reputation (there’s a pattern forming…)
Described by the media as a “digital tsunami”, Swifty removed not just comments, but EVERYTHING on social media. Zero posts, tweets and unfollowed everybody in the process, leaving her 95.4 million Twitter followers, 102 million Instagram followers and 838,458 Facebook fans left in a limbo.
THEN THE SECOND MOST DRAMATIC DAY IN THE HISTORY OF TAYLOR SWIFT HAPPENED.
Her social media all at once posted a cryptic video of, well you’ve guessed it, a SNAKE.
Taylor repeats in her new album “my Reputation’s never been worse so…” but let’s not forget she “never goes out of style” and she’s not wrong. No matter what ‘bad rep’ Taylor Swift gets – there is definitely “no such thing as bad publicity” to the PR geniuses at Brand T-Swizzle who can spin just about anything.
Just like the omnipresent snakes on Taylor’s social platforms – Swifty’s team recognised she needed to ‘shed her skin’ crafting and re-inventing her with a new image (and attitude) in order to sell a multi-million number of her new albums.
The album title ‘Reputation’ was a hint that she planned to address some of the controversies she’s dealt with in the past, and her album cover literally GLORIFIES the media with its newspaper style and use of classic font. This, as an iota (or two fingers), to the Media who have portrayed her in the light they have, since 2009.
The ‘Taylor Swift’ we know isn’t just a person – she’s a BRAND, a case-study, a re-invention of character.
Look What You Made Me Do – the most-anticipated song of the year was released – and people were SHOOK by her lyrics directly addressing both Kanye West, and the Mass Media in general:
“The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now….
Oh, ‘cause she’s DEAD”
Out with the old Taylor and in with the new, alongside an epic music video even mocking her previous personnas and literally OWNING what people were saying negatively about it her through the form of…. ‘the snake.’
“I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time. I mean, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time” – indeed she does, or her PR team do anyways.
This comeback single is still being talked about, and hit Number 1 on worldwide iTunes for a straight consecutive 3 weeks, breaking all kinds of streaming service records in the process.
Vanity Fair stated recently how social media has replaced the ‘traditional celebrity publicist,’ when a musician can announce a world tour through the form of a single tweet.
What did Taylor Swift do? Oh… she just announced her biggest world tour to date over the social media she deleted herself off previously. (You’re probs asking how I’ve kept up with all this…)
In total, Ticketmaster stated 2.5 million to 3 million tickets for the 44-date tour (including stops in the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand) sold out within minutes.
THIS is why Taylor Swift WINS at life basically.
“Make no mistake, this girl’s love affair with DRAMA is alive and well,” according to Rolling Stones… but it also conveniently helps her sell just about anything she puts her name to.
Her life has evolved into a PR minefield, but to sum up this ‘drama’ of Taylor Swift to date…
I refer back to my title of this blog post:
Look what ‘PR’ makes Taylor do – she certainly is NOT dead.
Chloe Campbell is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be found on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/chloe-campbell-337b26152 / Facebook: Chloe Campbell.