Love her or hate her (we’re Team Swiftie), Taylor Swift knows a thing or two about a successful public relations (PR) strategy. In 2023, she was the top streamed artist on both Apple Music and Spotify and was named Time’s Person of the Year. Her 2024 success is arguably more impressive, with her Eras Tour officially surpassing $1 billion in revenue (the first music event to do so).

Here are four core public relations lessons we’ve learned from Taylor and how you can implement them in your own strategy, so you can sit back and watch your company’s star power skyrocket.

1. Tell a Compelling Story

Taylor has been sharing her story with us from the very beginning of her career. Tales of love, heartbreak, mental health, and the daily pressures of life strike a chord with her fans. People relate to stories, so make sure your company is promoting theirs – what makes them unique, their history, company culture, and plans for the future. This helps build trust between your brand and its fans (i.e., customers), and can distinguish you from the competition.

2. Engage With Your Audience

It’s no secret Taylor excels at communicating with her fans, and genuinely seems to appreciate their support. She treats them like her friends and goes above and beyond when she’s performing for them. In the case of your company, make sure you are also doing everything you can to attract and engage more fans, and that your current fans are satisfied. Look at incentives that you can use to draw in new fans, such as a free demo or early-access to upcoming products and company news. Social media is a great way to interact with your audience and show how invested you are in your customers, which in turn will promote their investment in you.

3. Perfect Your Timing

Taylor and her ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn split in April of 2023, shortly before her Eras tour kicked off. In an effort to play down news of the breakup and play up news surrounding her tour, her PR team announced the breakup the Friday before Easter (when people would be preoccupied by the holiday). The news also landed during a break in the tour, so fans had a chance to learn about the split over the weekend while not taking the spotlight off her tour. If your company has a piece of news or an announcement that will gain negative media attention, look for ways to distance it from high priority positive moments and have a “bounce back” story ready to help people move on quickly from the unfavorable news.

4. Surprise and Delight

Every Swiftie knows Taylor likes to drop hints about upcoming albums and projects into her social media posts, songs, and appearances, lending mystery and suspense to each of her albums. The excitement and anticipation (along with her already loyal fanbase) all but ensure each new album she comes out with will be sold quickly. Fans especially love to mine for clues and insights into Taylor’s future projects. For instance, when she announced the title of her latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, fans speculated it was a reference to the name of a group chat Alwyn had with a couple of his friends, “The Tortured Man Club.” Some die-hard fans even cite her sartorial choices as hints, going so far as to conclude her choice of a plaid skirt and Oxford shoes = dark academic = Dead Poet’s Society = The Tortured Poets Department. This may seem like a stretch to some, but it ensures her fans keep coming back, in part to see if their predictions came true. For your company, surprise and delight your customers by offering flash sales or secret discount codes, invite them to private events, or donate to a charity on behalf of your brand.

Through the use of storytelling, engagement, timing, and surprise, Taylor has built a successful brand and dedicated audience. By implementing these tips, you can foster meaningful connections with your fans while building strong brand recognition to get more eyes on your company and offerings. Are you ready for it? Let’s chat.

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