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The Swift Effect: Unpacking the Power of Digital PR

November 8, 2023


min read


Every brand has a story to tell and the potential to weave a compelling narrative that attracts loyal customers or followers. Effective branding goes beyond logos, websites and marketing collateral and reaches into the hearts of your target audience. How do they perceive your brand? What feelings does your brand elicit?

While feelings may seem like a volatile thing to base your brand strategy on, public opinion is quick to sway — especially when things go wrong. 

That’s why digital PR is such an effective tool for modern businesses.

Not only can you marry up online and offline behaviours and perceptions into a cohesive brand experience, but you can also take control of the narrative and sentiment surrounding your brand. It’s never been easier to monitor (and adjust) your brand perception both online and offline!

Let’s showcase just how powerful PR can be with a few examples in action.

Tweet from MLFootball showing the commercial impact of Taylor Swift's attendance to the Chiefs-Bears game.
  1. Brand Partnerships in Action

While Taylor Swift may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no denying the strength of her brand and the level of genius behind her PR strategy.

If you or I attend a football game → *crickets*

Swift attends a football game → the internet breaks.

But more importantly, the strength of Taylor Swift’s brand has a flow-on effect with a hefty upside.

  1. Loyalty Like No Other

Positive brand perception is a cornerstone for building a loyal audience or customer base.

When Swift announces a new, well… anything → all kinds of chaos (and displays of unyielding loyalty) follow.

New album? → There’s bound to be some chart-topping, record-breaking action going on.

New tour? → You can guarantee phone lines and internet will be down for days post-launch.

New boyfriend? → Despite the PR it generates, that’s really none of our business, now, is it?

Taylor Swift’s brand image has become a cultural and economic phenomenon. Her Eras Tour was projected to gross $1 billion and is speculated to boost local economies in cities hosting her performances.

  1. Control Your Brand Narrative

Public perception is often thought of as an external factor that cannot be controlled — but with the right digital PR and brand reputation strategy, that is no longer the case.

As an example, let’s take reports of Taylor Swift’s jet contributing to the highest CO2 emissions in 2022. The original data study painted a negative image and placed Taylor Swift at the top of the list as the “worst CO2 offender”. It has been cited in almost 2,000 other articles and websites since.

However, due to the power of SEO and digital PR, Swift has been able to take control of the narrative and replace search results relating to this topic with reports of her attending a New York Jets game.

And she’s not the only one.

  • Ariana Grande’s song “Boyfriend” overshadows intrusive media speculation about her relationship status.
  • Lindsay Lohan has buried reports of her drug use with the song “Xanax”.
  • Walt Disney may (or may not) be frozen somewhere waiting to be reanimated, but until then, we can’t let “Frozen” go unmentioned.

Key takeaways

Digital PR is a cornerstone of effective modern marketing. It’s all about brand positioning, establishing loyalty and being clever with how, why and when you do things.

At EngineRoom, we specialise in helping our clients grow their brands online and offline. If you’d like to see how we can apply the Swift Effect to your business, reach out and ask what our digital PR services can do for you!  

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