What Electronic Dance Music Can Teach PR Pros

Over the past few months I have attended my fair share of concerts, most of them being categorized under the genre of EDM. It’s no secret that electronic dance music is on the rise in the United States With songs like Nero’s “Promises” being featured in a Hewlett Packard commercial and household names like Avicii and DJ Tiesto beginning partnerships with big name brands, the presence of EDM is spreading rapidly and will only grow larger in years to come. Shows put on by well known house music DJs like Swedish House Mafia and Kaskade are selling out in a matter of minutes with tickets priced close to $100 or above.
Looking at this from a public relations standpoint, I feel like there is a lot to learn from this recent phenomenon. The EDM audience consists of men and women ages 18-35, with a focus on college students, who are extremely tuned into social media and are willing to spend upwards to $300 dollars on festivals like Camp Bisco and Electric Zoo. Due to this audience, there are specific reasons as to why house music, dubstep, techno and trance artists have become so popular. After some research, here are some things I believe PR pros can take away from the explosion of EDM into America’s pop culture scene:
  • It’s all about social media: Although this is an obvious observation in 2012, the key to making social media work is by integrating all social media channels. House music DJs utilize social media far better than any other type of artists/bands that I follow. They engage their audiences by syncing Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube to connect with fans, announce shows and line-ups, post photos in real time and to hold contests and giveaways. I have had DJs reply to a tweet and a something as simple as that allows the fan to feel a personal connection, something that brands may have a hard time doing.
  • People like suspense: Welcome to the world of teasers. DJs have caught on to the fact that teasers work. The infamous trio known as Swedish House Mafia created a teaser website hinting at something epic before announced their 2011 Madison Square Garden show. Within minutes fans were sharing the link and counting down the days until the big announcement, which was their show at MSG that completely sold out in 40 minutes. Similar tactics are used to announce and promote EDM festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra Music Festival. When launching a new PR campaign, consider coming up with a teaser that will get your audience excited.
  • Recycle: Well, not literally. Today’s DJs are known mostly for how they re-work other DJ’s music. They are performing at sold out shows playing recycled songs that they have made their own. Repeated ideas are often seen in the PR world. The key to making it thrive, however, is to take an idea that works and simply make it your own. New ideas are often more successful than the original (hence remixes).
Do you see other ways in which this music culture can be helpful to PR pros? Let us know!

1 thought on “What Electronic Dance Music Can Teach PR Pros

  1. This post completely trivializes the EDM culture. EDM isn't on the rise… it's been steadily bubbling with ebbs and flows for over 20 years in this country. While counterparts overseas have mainstream media to support their music, EDM does not. Electronic Dance Music has no home on Radio, TV or mainstream print. Our culture has to rely solely on the media we've generated ourselves predominantly online because that's accessible and affordable. It has taken twenty years to get this far, which still isn't very far compared to other musical cultures.

    While you've made a few salient points, I think you barely bothered to scratch the surface or do the research or homework on the intricacies of how EDM has developed its own culture through digital media because it didn't have the outlets other genres of music have to promote in.

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