It Didn't Happen Unless There's A Selfie
July 15, 2014
The Taylor Swift Op-Ed piece on the state of the music industry that ran in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month caught the attention of many – including lots of radio folks.
Everyone who has had the privilege to meet Taylor knows that she is one of those rare artists that understand today's real currency is personalized attention.
(KFRG/Riverside-San Bernardino On-Air Talent Heather Froglear, with her daughter, and Taylor Swift.)
But maybe one side of Taylor that has gone less recognized is how insightful and moving she really can be with her words – beyond writing awesome break-up songs.
If you read her piece, you know she gave us endless eye-catching quotes - words that go deeper than just an opinion on the music industry – words we can apply to our own brand:
On the value of music (and more importantly, our own talent):
"My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet...is that they all realize their worth and ask for it."
"Forming a bond with fans in the future will come in the form of constantly providing them with the element of surprise. No, I did not say 'shock'; I said surprise."
On separating yourself from the pack:
"In the YouTube generation we live in, I walked out onstage every night of my stadium tour last year knowing almost every fan had already seen the show online. To continue to show them something they had never seen before, I brought out dozens of special guest performers to sing their hits with me."
And then this quote – the one that had everyone buzzing.
On keeping up with what fans really want:
"I haven't been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera. The only memento "kids these days" want is a selfie."
While many might see "selfies" as self-involved, mindless snapshots - there's something fun about this digital photo trend that can help a brand stay energetic and lively – so long as it's handled right.
If you think your brand is above "selfies," hopefully some of the guidelines and examples below will change your mind.
The key to "selfies" is that they must exceed expectations in order for this type of self-expression to work. Anything that reeks of self-indulgence or run of the mill can be as brand erosive as a bad break. Over time, the audience becomes fatigued and unmoved – creating passive fans.
And there is no value in a passive social fan base.
So we have to keep working at this – but understanding why we're doing this in the first place. Here are some "selfie" guidelines:
- The "selfie" is a visual opportunity to tell a story with few words.
- It allows your brand to emulate how fans participate in the social space – making the content share-worthy in the eyes of the fans.
- Most of all – it should simply make someone's day
Just look at some of your colleagues, who are stars in their own right, foregoing the autograph for their own 'celebrity selfie' moments:
(WBOS - Radio 929/Boston Jason Rossi)
(WBFM – B93/Sheboygan On-Air Talent Jessica Lynn)
(WRIF/Detroit Afternoon Mad Man Meltdown with Kid Rock)
(KILT – The Bull/Houston On-Air Talent Nick Russo)
(XHRM – Magic 92.5/San Diego's Kristi from the Jagger and Kristi Morning show)
(Hybrid Jazz show host/Trish Hennessey)
(KIOT/San Francisco PD Brian Figula)
(WHQG -THE HOG/Milwaukee PD Joe Calgaro)
(KMKF – K-ROCK 101.5/Manhatten PD/Morning Star Shawn Rock)
(WGTR – Gator 107.9/Myrtle Beach PD Jeff Roper)
(Owner/Publisher Sands Report Scott Sands)
(Music Dir./Exec Producer at The Big Time with Whitney Allen - Jackie Stevens)
(Pat Clark and AJ, Hosts of "Pat and AJ In The Morning," currently 'on the beach')
And EMI/Nashville's John Trapane sent this to me – reminding all of us that we're not the only one that takes selfies, the artists do, too!
We even take selfies with people we don't really know:
And forget celebrities, some of our favorite selfies are with the ones we love most:
(Dir./Syndication DBC Radio - Laura Gonzo)
And perhaps my favorite of them all – maybe because this was a first for me to see - asking the artist to say, "Hi" to someone else while taking a selfie.
Cumulus/Atlanta OM Rob Roberts, along with artist Ed Sheeran, had a message for me as I was writing this piece:
I'm sure there will be a day where we say, "Remember when we used to take all those awful selfies?" But until then, Taylor Swift's words really capture the spirit of our culture so well at this point in time.
This moment is exciting. There are so many creative avenues to explore. How else do you explain an entirely type of viral self-expression?
"Stepping out of your comfort zone is rewarded. The only real risk is being too afraid to take a risk at all."
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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