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 Pitchfork.com 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?

Madonna on Madonna, by Madonna

hbz november 2013 madonna reem acra 2 de 150x150 Madonna on Madonna, by Madonna

THE PR VERDICT: “B” (Good Show) to Harper’s Bazaar and Madonna.

When you’re one of the most famous celebrities in the world, and have been for decades, what can there be left to say? This may have been the conundrum facing the American edition of Harper’s Bazaar once they got Madonna for their November cover.

The answer? Truth or dare: a game that has been around for ages and also the name of the 1991 documentary about Madonna. Anyone who has worked in the magazine industry can only imagine the staff fervently trying to come up with a fresh angle for the story. Truth or dare… Madonna has done many daring things in her life, hasn’t she? Let’s run with that.

And who better to examine a life lived daringly than the daredevil herself? “Madonna’s Back” reads as though Her Madgesty really wrote it; it’s not that smooth, more like a stream of consciousness. A simple idea but one that achieves the near impossible: a fresh take on a subject the world knows all too well.

THE PR VERDICT: “B” (Good Show) to Harper’s Bazaar and Madonna.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: Complex situations often benefit from simple solutions. Mark Twain once said, “When in doubt, tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.” Having Madonna talk about the daring art of being Madonna was a fresh take on what otherwise might have been an article that has been written before. In this age of the ghostwriter, one never knows who really wrote the story, but a look at the self-revelatory writing shows that for Madonna and her readers, this was a fresh take on a subject that has otherwise been well worn.

To read the article, click here.

The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & Losers

 The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to the Seattle Police Department for their amusing and effective method of policing the first Hempfest since Washington state legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. In a brilliant move, the new law’s “do’s and don’ts” were printed on the backs of small Doritos bags and doled out to revelers by the boys and girls in blue. Brilliant because, you know, Hempfesters would inevitably get the munchies at some point, but also because it’s refreshing to see the police department take the role of community guardian and educator instead of adopting the typical “us vs them” mentality that so many urban forces exhibit these days. This was one time a bunch of potheads were stoked to see the fuzz.

Madonna grilz 150x150 The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO – or should we say, “Full Fashion Fiasco?”) to Madonna. Last Friday, she turned 55, but this week, Madge showed the world she’s still the Material Girl, not the Material Matron, by sporting gold grills on her teeth. Aside from the fact that she looks, in this photo anyway, like Hillary Clinton doing Madonna for a Saturday Night Live sketch, complete with dark roots and age-inappropriate getup, this look does not say “hip and youthful” so much as it shrieks “midlife crisis.” A sign that Madonna’s still huge: None among her entourage dares tell her the truth. 

130819145747 marissa mayer vogue horizontal gallery The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD TO Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, whose glamorous photo shoot and chatty interview in the September issue of Vogue has people scratching their heads more than turning them. Fetchingly posed on a chaise lounge in a sleek blue designer dress and stilettos, Mayer is telling the world…what, exactly? Not much about the company she was brought in to turn around 13 months ago.  (“What would Marissa Mayer wear?” asks an accompanying feature on workweek attire – surely the question uppermost on every investor’s mind.) Yahoo, to her credit, is turning around, which maybe is why she felt comfortable with doing the Vogue piece. Still, a glossy magazine spread that focuses on her wardrobe more than her work ethic reflects an overly preening personal PR campaign – likely dismaying loyal fans who admired her for breaking glass ceilings, not wearing glass stilettos.

The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners and Losers

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to Mother Jones MagazineMuckraking Mother Jones has done it again. The magazine that broke the infamous “47 Percent” video that broke Mitt Romney’s presidential chances has overturned another ugly political stone. This time, they leaked an audio recording of a meeting between Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and his staff discussing ways to discredit actress Ashley Judd, who was at one time considering an opposing run against him. McConnell blamed the current Democratic administration for bugging his office, but MJ reporters steadfastly refuse to name their source. For a magazine few had ever heard of pre-47gate, Mother Jones is building a reputation as a source of nonpartisan truth.

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) to the President of Malawi for her recent comical spat with Madonna. President Joyce Banda issued a media statement following a visit from Madonna calling her a “bully” and saying she harassed airport officials while trying to queue jump at the airport. (Apparently this sort of behaviour is unheard of in Malawi!). Madonna promptly denied the claim, saying it was nonsensical. The President, who one might have hoped had better things to do, retaliated with another statement that Madge has exaggerated her contribution to the country and wants Malawi be forever chained to “an obligation of gratitude.” We can safely assume President Joyce Banda has never heard of taking the PR high road.

Osteen hoax 150x150 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to Justin Tribble, the man behind an elaborate Internet hoax aimed at televangelist Joel Osteen. Tribble created a fake web site and Twitter account to proclaim the preacher was renouncing Christianity and closing his ministry. Some outlets fell for it briefly, including the Drudge Report and CNN (which Tribble promptly screengrabbed and posted on the faux sites). Tribble went to a lot of trouble, so he must really hate Osteen, right? Well, no, he’s actually a “big fan,” he says. He just wants the preacher to stop using clichés and talk about more serious issues like genetically modified foods. Huh?

No Celeb Surprises at the Polls

cher and kathy griffin 150x150 No Celeb Surprises at the Polls

The PR Verdict: “C” (Distinctly OK ) for both political parties and their star endorsers.

Does Cher love Mitt Romney? Does Chuck Norris endorse Obama? Both might have been sensational headlines, but the opposite was true. As the election draws to an inevitable close, celebrities have been in a rush to make their final public and political stand. Uploading their Presidential endorsement videos on You Tube and their own websites, there are disappointingly few surprises about their pickings.

Bruce Springsteen, Katy Perry, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kathy Griffin, and Cher have all thrown their weight behind the Democrats. Madonna seems to have had a harder time of it; when in New Orleans recently, she was booed off the stage for endorsing President Obama, but her experience doesn’t seem to have deterred others. Obama’s celebrity support continues to be broad. But is anyone really that surprised by Hollywood favoring the Democrats?

Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan also have their share of celebrity endorsements. Arguably, the list is somewhat broader (and older) in scope: Kid Rock, Kelsey Grammer, Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris, Meat Loaf, and, of course, Donald Trump. Golfer Jack Nicklaus and country music stars the Oak Ridge Boys and Lee Greenwood have been joined by celeb du jour Honey Boo Boo, the youngest of the pack and therefore ineligible to vote.

The PR Verdict: “C” (Distinctly OK ) for both political parties and their star endorsers. What we really needed was a surprise.

The PR Takeaway: Astonish if you want to make a difference. It is generally understood that while celebrities may not bring in more voters, they do boost a candidate’s base and help energize the campaigns getting voters to polling booths. Fine and well, but what would really move the PR dial is to have an endorsement from left field. The element of surprise was missing with nearly all celebrities this time around. Next time, flush out the star with the surprising point of view. It’s guaranteed to vitalize a campaign and minimize the risk that the A-Listers are simply singing to their respective choirs.

To see the latest Cher video endorsing Obama, click here. To watch Chuck Norris endorse Romney, click here.

Who would you most have wanted to see stump for Obama, and who for Romney? Give us your PR Verdict!

The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & Losers

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: A (PR Perfect) to Lady Gaga.  Though we had ranked her earlier this week, Lady Gaga has not stopped topping the list of trending stories right across the web.  While the world may be holding a global UN summit in New York, Gaga turned a 25-lb. weight gain into a point of pride – and a brilliant PR maneuver.  The coverage keeps on being generated following the launch of her Body Revolution, a forum urging acceptance for less than perfect physiques. A media masterstroke that has put more serious global issues in the shade.

 

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: F (Full Fiasco) for Team Romney. The latest Gallup Poll shows Mitt Romney trailing behind Barack Obama by six points. It’s not hard to guess that the number 47 figured into that percentage somehow. With just over a month until Election Day, Team Romney must come up with a serious plan to halt this free-fall. The announcement of a genuinely new and unexpected economic plan might just reset the debate. Something fresh and unexpected is needed. Any suggestions?

 

 

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersTHE PRV AWARD FOR BRAND CONSISTENCY: Samuel L. Jackson for his “Wake the F*ck Up” political bedtime story. The actor, so well known for his expletive-laced lines in films and real life that he’s usually called “Samuel Motherf*ckin’ Jackson,”  cuts through indistinct attack ads with a punchy pro-Obama rant. In rhyme!  While it may not encourage anyone to change their vote on the big day, Jackson has successfully reinforced his own brand without talking about himself  – the secret to all successful PR.