Wired PR Works by Barbara Rozgonyi

Real-izing Your Virtual Identity

Dixie Chicks: PR Takeaways

Posted by barbararozgonyi on February 12, 2007

dixiechicks.jpgPR Takeaways is an occasional series that points out what I like about a campaign, company or in this case, a newsroom for a trio called the Dixie Chicks. FYI, this is my second post that mentions the Dixie Chick and PR – the first is filed under PR Lesson: How to Get Famous.

To get to the pure PR takeaways, scroll past the personal stuff.  

Here’s the story of how the Dixie Chicks came into my life . . .  

A few years ago, I went to the libray to check out some summer songs for a road trip to Wisconsin with my 14 year old daughter. Somehow the Dixie Chicks’ Fly topped my check out stack. 

Goodbye Earl turned out to be the perfect tonic on a hot summer day for two young girls too tuckered out to pick any more blueberries. Bareboot and blistered from the sun, the two blondies sat in the car with the Dixie Chick’s blaring over the bushes. By the time the moms finished picking the berries, they girls had memorized a few songs.

When we stopped for lunch later inside a cool roadhouse, the girls stayed outside and set up a picnic in a shady spot. By the time we finished lunch, the girls had tracked the album and a new groove of friendship was formed.

Whenever we wanted to remember that afternoon, my daughter and I would pop in Fly and blast it – preferably on an open country road with the windows down as the crows and cows rolled by. At the time, the mother in me didn’t really take to the term “chick” for my daughter – now it’s an honorable designation.

PR Takeaways

Here’s what I love about the Dixie Chicks’ public relations:

– take a stand and stand by it – controversy worked for them and it can work for you, if you’re passionate about what you believe in. Not convinced? Read the New York Times coverage that includes this clip: “But even without support from country music’s traditional institutions, the album became something of a hit. ‘Taking the Long Way,’ bolstered by brisk sales at Starbucks, Amazon and other less traditional outlets, has sold almost 1.9 million copies, and ranked as one of the year’s 10 best sellers.”

– hire or assign someone to blog about your stage shows or events where you interact with the public – this could be your brick-and-mortar store

– show cute pictures of kids on your blog – everybody’s got ’em, might as well show ’em off

– post latest headlines on your home page, by the way here’s the latest:

UNBELIEVABLE NIGHT at the Grammy Awards!
  UNBELIEVABLE NIGHT! Dixie Chicks went five for five at the 29th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb 11 winning the big three general categories: Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year, as well as Best Country Album and Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group. Last minute TV note: On the day after their Grammy sweep, VH1 has decided to re-air Dixie Chicks’ Storytellers at 3pm eastern/pacific (Mon Feb 12.)
“Shut Up & Sing” will be released on DVD on Feb. 20
  To pre-order, you can click here
VOTE at CMT for “Not Ready to Make Nice” video
  CMT has announced that the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice” video is a first round nominee in three categories for the upcoming 2007 CMT Music Awards: Video of the Year, Group Video of the Year, and Video Director of the Year (Sophie Muller). Fan voting to narrow the eight initial nominees in each category down to the final four nominees takes place through Feb 23rd . You can vote HERE.
Dixie Chicks are included in the 2007 Grammy CD
  Dixie Chicks are included in the 2007 Grammy CD…check it out here
The Chicks’ latest CD, Taking the Long Way, has been certified double platinum
  The Chicks’ latest CD, Taking the Long Way, has been

– set up a fully-stocked press room, this one is managed by Front Page Publicity , to keep the media and fans browsing to find out more

– track by track comments and label copy give the media ready access to quotes and statistics – what was going on in your mind when you launched that big project and who would you like to thank? All too often, creative projects and even products get presented with a bare minimum of personality and personal insights. Letting people in our your internal conversations and creative process brings the relationship closer.

notes & quotes is a great mix of testimonials, reviews and comments that profiles the Dixie Chicks as professional musicians making an impact; brief historical markers note the timelines 

My suggestions:

– take off the charity and interview links until they’re ready to go live

– copy the latest headlines into the newsroom site so that the releases run on a continuum

– find a band, artist, brand, movie or TV show that you love and become one of their followers. Observe how you connect with them and why – note common intersections and test out similar ways to connect with your audience through your own public relations channels.  

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