Do you know what a concept album is and how it relates to a PR campaign?
Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
It’s simple: all the songs on a concept album tell one over-riding story, much like a successful PR campaign
WE ALL have our favourite albums. Often they evoke powerful memories about a special time or place in our lives.
But have you ever thought about whether your cherished long player is a concept album or not?
A typical studio albums consist of a number of unconnected songs (lyrically and otherwise) performed by the artist. However, a concept album is something quite different, because all of the musical or lyrical ideas it includes contribute to a single overall theme or unified story.
Concept albums are therefore far tougher to write, but many musicians believe they are great ways to tell stories and often say they find the process far more rewarding than writing a standard album.
My own all-time favourite album, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a concept album – Quadrophenia by The Who.
It tells the story of a young mod named Jimmy. He is a working class lad whose life was changed when he went to The Who’s concert at Brighton. He has difficulty finding regular work and doubts his self-worth and quits a job as a dustman after only two days. Though he is happy to be “one” of the mods, he struggles to keep up with his peers, and his girlfriend leaves him for his best friend.
After destroying his scooter and contemplating suicide, he decides to take a train to Brighton, where he had enjoyed earlier life with fellow mods. However, he discovers the mod who led the gang he was part of, now has a menial job as a bellboy in a hotel.
Jimmy feels everything in his life has rejected him, steals a boat, and uses it to sail out to a rock overlooking the sea. On the rock and stuck in the rain, he contemplates his life. The ending is left ambiguous as to what happens to Jimmy on the rock.
Kind of a sad tale, but the music is simply amazing. You can feel the passion in Roger Daltrey’s voice in some of the songs, resulting in that goosebump feeling.
So what’s the point?
Well the point is that concept albums are often held in higher regard and better remembered because they keep telling one well thought out joined up story.
If we think of this in terms of PR campaigns it comes back to the over-riding messages that should come through in every press release, every piece of coverage and all the other PR activity.
Most importantly of all these over-riding messages must relate back to PR objectives and business objectives of the relevant organisation.
As always – here come the examples
At Holyrood PR we specialise in developing award winning objective-led campaigns that recognise a client’s specific goals.
On fantastic B2B example is the work we’ve done with CityFibre and Commsworld. Earlier this year the two partner firms announced the Edinburgh Gigabit City project. The ambitious project would see the installation of a pure fibre network offering boosted internet speeds across the capital with some business able to access speeds up to 100 times faster than their current provision.
The project’s success relied upon gaining the right amount of interest from businesses across the city.
A launch event was organised for May and businesses were asked to register their interest. We pushed our clients to give us a target amount of business and IT leaders they wanted to attend the event and they said if they got 60 they would be happy. We also asked for a target figure on the amount of businesses registering interest by the end of July – and they said if they got 150 that would be an outstanding result.
Now that we had our objectives we set about making them a reality through strong, joined up PR. We created a huge buzz before the launch event, using various angles to get the key spokespeople into the target media. Then we helped with the invite list, targeting key businesses and getting our message in front of them.
On the day of the event we made sure that the relevant people were there, got a number of influential journalists along and then set about getting out the all-important press releases and images.
After over 100 delegates attended the event we then delivered steady stream of coverage post-event that raised huge awareness and drove the registers of interest though the 200 mark before the middle of July.
And yes, we have a great consumer PR example as well.
Our work for the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships (SSPBC) saw us tasked not only with raising awareness of the competition itself, but in striking a chord on a much deeper note – to encourage schools to include piping and drumming tuition on their curriculum.
Our successful PR delivered around 60 items of coverage (including national media and TV) to date – reaching an astounding potential audience of more than 19 million.
Of most importance, more than 80% of the coverage featured at least two of our key messages – with one recording a complete 100% rating.
That means the message of the need to safeguard piping in Scottish schools has reached a vast audience – allowing the SSPBC to continue their pressure to influence change with a solid and powerful body of evidence and support.
Today’s 24-hour news culture – and the non-stop whirlwind of social media – means there is a lot of competition for any business or organisation that wants to cut through the noise and have their story told.
Here’s a really interesting concept – how about about contacting us to help your business to enjoy effective PR in Scotland?
Contact our expert PR team below to find out just how we can help commemorate your special event.
Private: Kallan Glynn
Kallan Glynn joined Scottish public relations agency Holyrood PR as part of the Government-approved QA Apprenticeships scheme. It means he is learning the ropes from an expert PR team.View Private:'s Profile
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