Today I spent my time reminiscing back on the multitude of music campaigns from way back 2015. Why? Because without a doubt, 2015 was a great year for Music PR. With successful campaigns being created here there and everywhere, it was vital that in order to successfully promote an artists album release a well thought-out, innovative strategy was used. Many tried, many failed, but a select few hit the nail on the head, creating integrated, clever campaigns that allowed them to “gain that all important notoriety in the competitive market”
One that particularly caught my attention was New Orders’ campaign for the release of their new album ‘Music Complete’. With the bands rise to fame being in the 90’s, prior to the digital age, and with ‘Music Complete’ being their first full album release for over 10 years, the PR team had a completely blank digital slate to play with. The campaign they created utilised several digital platforms to ensure maximum coverage and media buzz prior, during and post-release.
(Image Via StereoGum)
Firstly, The timing of the campaign was ideal, with the ‘Madchester’ revival in full swing, the opportunity for 90’s Manchester bands to make a come-back was easier than ever. Not only did they still have the support from the original baby-boomer generation, but they now had a huge new audience to market to, the Millennials. In order to appeal to both existing and new audiences, the campaign ensured it combined traditional methods of PR with modern digital methods, maximising reach and engagement.
The primary component of the campaign was a custom website (Singularity – The influence of New Order) that focused on the release of the first single on the album – ‘Singularity’. The site showcased a number of short interviews and video clips with other well established music industry professionals, explaining how New Order influenced their own work within the music industry. This use of celebrity endorsement in the form of PR as opposed to advertising adds credibility to the statements, and positions New Order as influential musicians within the music industry, consequently promoting the band and increasing interest within the readers. This tactic, combined with digital audio and visual aids not only draws audiences in, but also keeps them engaged and prolongs their interaction with the site.
(Images Via New Order – Singularity)
Understanding that “social media is where music audiences naturally congregate”, New Order social media accounts were updated (and in some cases, created), on all major sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. Click through links to the Singularity site were regularly posted, urging fans to visit the site and read reviews of the band. Additionally, links to these social media sites were also easily accessible from the Singularity website, meaning no matter what platform the audience visit, they can easily travel between the other New Order sites.
In support of this, the campaign was launched in conjunction with the radio premiere of ‘Singularity’ meaning traditional forms of PR, such as radio plays and interviews directed traffic towards the digital platforms. This allowed for complete integration though all aspects of the campaign, both online and offline.
With the quality of media coverage a PR campaign receives being “just as, if not more, important than the quantity of coverage it receives” the true success of the campaign was shown through the measured statistics it produced. With 1 Million new Facebook likes since the launch date, and 16k followers on a newly created Youtube channel, the traffic the campaign drove to New Orders digital sites was evident. However, it was the airtime on well renowned radio stations including BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 2, Absolute radio and radio X following the campaign that truly proved its success. This airtime consequently lead to Music Complete entering the Official Music Charts at number 2, their highest charting album since 1993.
(Image Via New Order – Singularity)
Even with the stats in, and the success of the campaign clear, the New Order PR team didn’t stop there. After all, in order to avoid a short shelf-life a successful campaign won’t stop promoting just because the campaign is over. Therefore, the Singularity website is still being regularly updated, and the band recently held a fan competition in which members of the public could send in their own statements explaining how the band has influenced them personally. This continued effort to interact with the target audience allows the campaigns success to continue, and avoids the campaign having a short shelf-life. This continued interaction between the two parties demonstrates the effectiveness of a PR strategy which accommodates to both before, and after the album’s release.
(Note: All bold/italics are links)