Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Lizzo has graced our radio waves with unapologetic honesty and a refreshing dose of confidence. While most of her songs are about relationships, and sometimes the end of them, her lessons on the world of love have several parallels with the world of public relations.
Breaking down the chorus of her hit “Truth Hurts,” here are three takeaways that Lizzo teaches us about PR.
- “Why men great ‘til they gotta be great?”
Brands often boast about how their product or service is the best available. However, we often see an Italian restaurant claim to have the most authentic marinara sauce, only for customers to find out it came out of a jar. A travel agent promises she’ll help you every step of the way to plan your getaway to Argentina but then fails to reply to simple questions over email.
No matter how great you claim your business to be, your customers will quickly learn otherwise if you don’t live up to your promise. Your words will mean nothing if you can’t deliver. Walk the walk and talk the talk, and from there, you’ll build a loyal fan base.
- “Don’t text me, tell it straight to my face.”
Don’t hide behind your brand’s social media or advertising. As a business leader, it’s important to create face time with your customers. Diners feel appreciated when the chef steps on the floor to see if they enjoyed their meal. A store manager is more likely to win back a disappointed customer if she personally contacts them to apologize for their negative experience. Investors feel more valued when they hear directly from their wealth adviser instead of always from an assistant.
In a world where people are disconnected from each other and would rather keep their faces in their phones, you will distinguish yourself from the noise if you put yourself in front of their faces and create a real human connection.
- “Truth hurts, needed something more exciting.”
Some business leaders feel they offer the most unique and groundbreaking product. Unless you’re Elon Musk, that’s highly doubtful. While you may think your big business announcement deserves to be on the top fold of the Wall Street Journal, the truth is it might not be as exciting as you believe.
That doesn’t mean that media outreach is pointless. Instead, be more strategic about what information is important enough to disseminate. Editors are overworked with tight deadlines, and sometimes they’ll cover your story and other times they’re forced to pass on it. Other times, even if your story is compelling, there may not be room for you in their news cycle. Manage your expectations — not everything is going to stick. You may have gotten lots of coverage last time, but there may be something more exciting to report the next time around.