This past week has been a long back and forth between pop-star Taylor Swift and major music mogul, Apple Inc. It appeared to be the clash of the ages, beginning with Swift posting an open letter to Apple on her Tumblr account on June 21. In the letter, Swift explained she will not be supporting Apple’s new streaming service because during the 90 day free trial for customers artists that are available to stream will not be paid.
After the letter was published it immediately went viral and, eventually grabbed Apple’s attention. A few days after the letter was published Apple responded to Swift’s letter, saying that they will pay all artists that are available on the streaming service for the first three months.
Swift had won the battle she had sought to win, however, it was until June 26, nearly a week after the original letter was published, that Swift finally said she would allow her 1989 album on Apple’s streaming service. In typical Swift fashion she made the announcement in the form of a simple tweet thanking Apple for listening to her concerns.
What’s important to note here from a PR stand point is that, while at first, it might seem like Swift came out on top, there’s room for Apple at the top as well. For Swift, her all-star status was reaffirmed and her name is now being seen all over the news as the artist that stood up to Apple. For Apple, they saved millions in free publicity for their new streaming service. Now, not only does the public know about their new service and the fact that it’s free for the first three months, they also know it’s morally solid and that Apple did the right thing by agreeing to pay artists.
In the field of public relations the more a company can get their name and service out there without spending a cent is vital because it leaves more funds to do original, innovative or exciting things within a campaign. Though of course Apple isn’t hurting for money, the lesson learned from Taylor Swift v. Apple 2015 is something that all public relations professionals and students can apply to their work.
Free publicity can be negative or positive and PR professionals can never be quite sure what they’re going to get until they see it, however, taking a note from Apple it’s easy to see that the saying “all publicity is good publicity” still holds true in the world of PR.
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Account Executive Hannah Litchfield