The 59th Annual Grammy Awards took place, as it normally does, in the Staples Center in Los Angeles; and this year, the show took off in a direction that was anything but usual. There were political dresses, winners who did their speeches in their underwear and Beyoncé cried on live television. The craziness only added to the greatness of this year’s show, and host James Corden came off as a perfect blend of well-prepared and natural as he delivered hilarious lines scattered throughout the event. One might not watch the show and consider its value when it comes to learning, let alone lessons to take into a job as a public relations professional, but, with the right perspective, the Grammy’s had a lot of great content.
Take risks – but have a backup plan.
One of the most-talked about outfits of the star-studded night was Adele’s, who stunned in a bright olive green dress with long sparkly sleeves. The dress was beautiful, but the reason it was the source of such discussion was that it was not her signature black. Adele isn’t only known for her singing skills, but for her gorgeous black dresses. Later in the show, when she performed a tribute to the late David Bowie, she went back to her roots with a long, black dress with fringed cape-lake shoulders. Adele stepped out of her comfort zone, but when the time was right, went back to what she was known for. In public relations, it is important for practitioners to take risks, but to have a backup plan.
Trust your client.
People are buzzing about Beyoncé, not only for her recent Instagram post being the most-liked photo in Instagram history, but her spectacular Grammy performance. Wearing a gorgeous, shimmering gold dress which accentuated her growing baby bump, she sang a medley of her most popular songs from her iconic album “Lemonade.” While singing “Love Drought,” she sat on a chair at the head of a huge table. The chair, which was placed on top of the table, slowly began to lean backward until Beyoncé was parallel with the floor. The chair was so precariously placed that Twitter went into a frenzy, talking about how much Beyoncé had to trust the chair to let it lean so far back while she was pregnant with twins. In public relations, it is critical to trust the organization that you are working for. If you are not passionate, and don’t have their back fully, then it is very difficult to spread their message well.
One of the most memorable moments of the night was when, after winning Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Twenty-One Pilots stripped to their underwear to receive their award. The story behind that seemingly bizarre occurrence was actually sweet, they had agreed years before that if they ever won a Grammy, they would accept it in their underwear; they made that agreement because the thought of them winning seemed so outrageous. They exemplify the importance of staying humble in public relations, which is critical because no public is going to favor an organization that comes off as stuck-up.
Recognize your competition.
One of the most surprising moments includes two of the most-talked about winners, Adele and Beyoncé. Adele, after winning the prestigious Album of the Year, began to congratulate Beyoncé on her album, “Lemonade.” Adele was so sincere in her appreciation she brought tears to Beyoncé’s eyes. With this action, Adele showed the importance of keeping an eye on competing organizations in public relations, as well as recognizing when they have done good work.
Remember the past.
One of the most touching moments of this year’s Grammys was when Bruno Mars performed as Prince, in a tribute to the late singer. Bruno, who had gotten a stamp of approval from the notoriously picky Prince before his death, sang a medley of his most popular songs. Bruno was wearing Prince’s signature purple sequined suit with white, ruffled cuffs. In public relations, it is important to remember successes and failures of the past, so practitioners can improve their content for the future.
Grace Hutchison is a freshman public relations and digital design major at Waynesburg University. She is the Fundraising Chair for Waynesburg University PRSSA, the Social Media and Special Events Editor for the Mad Anthony Yearbook, a Staff Writer for the Yellow Jacket newspaper and is involved in AIGA and Red Brick Communications.