Written by Grace Kennedy
If the news escaped you, Taylor Swift has released her newest album, “Midnights.” As a “Swiftie,” I cannot be impartial about my love of blondie’s latest album. However, I CAN analyze a piece of next-level PR work that has surrounded “Midnights’” release.
I have not been the first to praise Swift’s PR work. PRSA released a blog post in 2019 reviewing her team’s unique blend of strategies, but Swift is constantly evolving and one-upping herself. “Midnights’” PR brought a heightened level of planning, fan involvement, and results.
So, what is different about “Midnights?”
Swift and her team enjoy planting “Easter eggs” to hint at upcoming news. These “Easter eggs” have become more prevalent and challenging as Swift’s fan base has reached near FBI levels of intelligence and diligence in their search for answers. No tweet, public appearance, outfit, or Instagram caption is safe from “Swiftie” scrutiny.
For “Midnights,” Swift and her team have been crafting and planting “Easter eggs” to the nth degree. On Sept. 20, Swift launched a TikTok video series called “Midnights Mayhem With Me.” Each installment came out at midnight ET sharp and included cryptic messages and the announcement of one track title on the upcoming album.
The series garnered intense attention and created an uproar of Swift-related TikTok content. Audiences unfamiliar with the “Easter egg” hunting process or who were not prior fans were exposed to the zeal of the “Swiftie” community.
The theme of midnight releases continued as Swift periodically shared concepts behind the album and its tracks through Spotify and Instagram Reels. The “Midnights Manifest,” a schedule of events for the album’s release week, was revealed on TikTok and Instagram. It included two upcoming music videos, talk-show appearances, and a “special very chaotic surprise” at 3 a.m. the night of the album’s release.
All this was just the beginning. The album dropped, and the dissection began. The 3 a.m. surprise was seven secret songs. The music videos brought another round of speculation.
With all of the craziness and deep dives, and Swift’s PR team stretched a million different ways, this “Easter egg” hunt sets Swift and “Midnights” apart. Rather than analyzing an album to criticize, Swift’s fans do it to understand. They do it to get closer to the artist and to have fun in the community they built.
That is truly the key. Through this PR game, Swift has built a community rather than a mere fan base. Engaging and growing this “Easter egg” hunt certainly helps the artist gain attention, listens, and sales, but, more importantly, it is a way to connect with her fans and help her fans connect – and it’s fun!
Today, one week after the release of “Midnights,” it has broken the record for the most-streamed album in a single day in Spotify history and is predicted to break records – holding the top 10 spots in the Billboard Top 100. Whether you like the album or not, you best believe it’s bejeweled.
The PR brilliance behind “Midnights’” release, and Swift’s career as a whole, extends much further than this one strategy, but it is the piece that brings her fans together and to Swift.
If this was gobbledygook to you, maybe you should stream “Midnights” to understand better *winks in Swiftie.*