Gaga’s Ho-Hum Album Sales

 Gagas Ho Hum Album Sales

THE PR VERDICT: “D” (PR Problematic) for Lady Gaga.

The launch of Lady Gaga‘s third album, ARTPOP, continues: with events such as a shopping tie-in with retail clothing giant H&M  a massive artRave album release party , the chatter of the spectacles and the so-called “flying dress” space suit – early  reports indicate that the mega-marketed album is, well, kind of a flop.

So how has ARTPOP performed? The album did debut at number one on the Billboard music charts, with 258,000 in sale and provided comparative numbers: 250-300,000 is typical for chart-topping pop stars but Gaga’s previous album, Born This Way sold an astonishing 1.1 million albums in its first week of release.

Theories abound: sales may have been affected by sharing limelight with mega-star Katy Perry, comeback kid Britney Spears, and Disney child gone wild Miley Cyrus. Her songs are not as strong as before, her dress  is not as shocking and finally the suggestion that she is overexposed. Will these ho-hum sales be a blip for Gaga, or a slide down from Olympus?

THE PR VERDICT: “D” (PR Problematic) for Lady Gaga.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: Ride out the rough times. With innovation comes imitators; at first, outrageous Gaga was considered an innovator by those too young to remember Madonna’s cone bra. Those falling from great heights should refrain from public panicked gestures that signal flailing, such as Gaga recently firing her longtime manager. Carry on as planned and ride out the storm. After all, Madonna’s still around, isn’t she?

The Pet Whisperer of Park Avenue

berman The Pet Whisperer of Park Avenue

The PR Verdict: “B” for Dr Berman and his PR Profile.

The latest edition of Town and Country magazine includes a profile of the apparently famous Park Avenue veterinarian, Lewis Berman, DVM.  Described as the preferred confidant of Manhattan’s “elite dogs and cats for more than fifty years” the magazine enthuses that “pets and their owners both seem to look forward to visits with Dr Berman”.

For more than fifty years, Dr Berman has looked after the pets of the boldest of bold-faced names.  Andy Warhol had a dachshund called Amos, Lauren Bacall a King Charles Spaniel while the Shah of Iran had a Great Dane.  Writer Lillian Hellman was more devoted to her French poodle than other people.  “She didn’t like people that much”, he offers.

The lengthy interview talks of his early days in the business as well as his family and charitable causes.  Described puzzlingly in the article as “having a pleasing attractive face with unremarkable unexaggerated features” the article reads like a prelude to something bigger.  Is a book, TV program or franchise in the offing?

The PR Verdict: “B” for Dr Berman and his PR Profile.  We may be cynical but was the ground being laid for stage two of a publicity drive? All the ingredients were there but in the end no clue was given.

PR Takeaway: Credibility is key to building a professional profile.  Dr Berman seems to have mastered the art, even if unintentionally.  Positioning himself as the dog and cat whisperer to Manhattan’s elite, he struck the right note of experience, wisdom and geniality.  Even if Dr Berman doesn’t intend to start his own franchise, create a shampoo line or launch a DVD/book on pet care, the article might flush out interested buyers of the business, if he is tempted that is.

The article is not available online. Print edition only. For a link to Town and Country click here.



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