Who would have ever thought that Van Halen could teach a thing or two to public relation firms? But that's exactly what a Media CEO is saying.
For Entrepreneur Magazine, Paul Fitzgerald, founder and CEO of Salt & Pepper Media, credits the band when writing how public relation firms can stand out from the rest and maintain longevity:
- Be Original: "In both the music business and in public relations, it’s vital to be original, even in reworking something that has already been done... The same goes for campaigns. Van Halen is famed for its original sound, but has done covers of other hit tracks, including a remake of Roy Orbison’s 'Oh, Pretty Woman,' which reached number-12 on the Billboard Top-100chart. Every P.R. firm has its own identity, much like a band, and while a campaign concept at its core may not be new, presenting it with individual flare and spin will make it unique to. You can never go wrong with originality."
- Experiment: "Although rooted in heavy metal and hard rock, Van Halen has also crossed over into pop music with songs such as 'Jump'... The lesson here is to not be afraid to try new things. Expand horizons, pick up that guitar, and see what comes out. Don’t just think outside the box, turn the box into a race car… Be bold."
- Maintain attention to detail: "Musicians and movie stars are known for outlandish requests in hotel rooms, backstage areas and movie sets, and Van Halen was no exception, including maintaining a stipulation that brown M&Ms not be allowed backstage. What did the boys have against them? Nothing; they saw the request as a test of the level of detail that the venue would put into the rest of their setup. In P.R., that type of detail-attention is key to client successes... Fine details in communications and campaigns will show your commitment level and professionalism."
- Diversity rules: "A restlessly refreshed content mix helped Van Halen with its rise to fame. Even once out of the ’70s and ’80s, they attracted new fans by changing styles and recognizing an evolving fan base, including rotating through a couple of lead singers. The same goes for P.R. campaigns. Stay true to your roots, but provide variety in your campaigns to reach a target market, and to ensure that each client is offered its own unique representation in the media world."
- We all have a shelf life: "While David Lee Roth helped shoot the band to fame, Sammy Hagar propelled additional success, yet even Sammy was eventually replaced... [Note to PR firms -- the band tanked]... Companies want to stay fresh and relevant, and if they aren’t feeling that with a current agency, they will look elsewhere. While losing a client in this way can seem like a crushing blow, look at it as a chance to branch out into a different area and come back stronger than ever. The more diverse your campaign portfolio, the more opportunities you will have."
In other Van Halen news, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have posted a video on their Van Hagar / Other Half Facebook and Instagram pages celebrating the 35th anniversary of Van Halen's first concert video, Live Without a Net.