Miley Cyrus is Crazy (Like a Fox)

 Miley Cyrus is Crazy (Like a Fox)

The PR Verdict: “A” (PR Perfect) for Miley Cyrus (left, as Hannah Montana; right, her new image).

Former Disney star Miley Cyrus has grown up very quickly lately. The teen singer and actress previously shot to mega-stardom as the star of Hannah Montana. Back then ratings were high and Cyrus’s albums hit the top ten, with movies and multiple merchandising tie-ins. Miley was everywhere.

But as her recent MTV Video Awards performance can attest, those days are way over. With a close-cropped platinum ‘do, a barely-there outfit, and a wildly suggestive tongue, Miley sent a message: Hannah Montana no more.

Chat shows talked to experts and outraged parents about what happened to this teen idol. The truth? It’s not insanity, drugs, or child stardom gone awry. It’s a combination of savvy star and manager using an old PR concept: sex sells. Cyrus’s new song “Wrecking Ball” has Cyrus, naked, riding a wrecking ball while tonguing the chain in the video: woah. Result? Millions of views, morning shows full of talk, and a star laughing all the way to the bank.

THE PR VERDICT: “A” (PR Perfect) for Miley Cyrus. If the aim of one’s career is celebrity (rather than artistry), it matters less what people say than that they’re talking about you.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: Keep it simple. There is never an easy way to go from teen sensation to twenty-something star; ask Justin Beieber. Cyrus cut to the chase with a series of drastic measures – chopping off her hair, dying it, and making provocative videos, which are the celebrity equivalent of sexy photos. In short, she’s doing everything her formerly teen audience is doing in their real lives. This awkward transition is less train wreck than well-orchestrated PR symphony.

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Suzan Colon About Suzan Colon

Suzan Colon, The PR Verdict’s Content Editor, has written for magazines including O, the Oprah Magazine; Jane; Details; Rolling Stone; Harper’s Bazaar; and many other publications. She is the author of Cherries in Winter: My Family’s Recipe for Hope in Hard Times (Random House). Suzan blogs for the Huffington Post and has appeared on The Today Show, The Early Show, and NPR. For more, visit

What is Your PR Verdict?

  1. I agree with you Suzan. PR of Miley Cyrus will help her taking any direction with her career. Besides, it’s pop culture, so any shocking actions become acceptable in the end. No-one has yet lost much of being controversial. It will always find its audience.
    Kamila recently posted..Start-ups and start-downs [Evoque Journey]My Profile

    • Suzan Colon Suzan Colon says:

      So true, Kamila. The thing I find so interesting is how successful it is. Being so deliberately provocative eliminates the question of what the reaction is and turns the focus to reaction itself. Thanks for writing in!

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