Professional Rapper or Undercover PR Pro? PR Lessons Learned from Lil Dicky’s Earth Release

By Alexea Candreva
Alexea Candreva spends her days getting clients front and center in the news. After hours, you can find her conquering her next big hike, perfecting her gluten-free baking or brushing up her amateur photography skills.
 

On April 18th, infamous comedian rapper (and undercover PR pro) Lil Dicky launched his new song and music video Earth. While he’s drawn attention from his previous songs and musical collaborations – like Freaky Friday, Professional Rapper and $ave Dat Money – Earth quickly garnered global attention and hit No. 17 on Billboard’s Hot 100 the week of April 29th.

From trending across social media to garnering coverage in publications like Billboard, Newsweek, International Business Times, MTV News (to name a few), is it possible Lil Dicky’s new song launch is an undercover PR masterplan?

We know – it’s like apples to oranges – but we can still compare them. Here are our top takeaways from the phenomenon:

Timing is everything.

If you haven’t listened to Earth yet, no surprises here – it’s about saving the planet! With an April 18th launch, Lil Dicky (or possibly, maybe his awesome PR team) couldn’t have timed the song/video better just four days ahead of Earth Day.

When launching any PR campaign, timing is crucial. Is there a big event around the corner that could drown out the noise of your news? You may want to avoid. Is there a big event or day that ties perfectly into your news (per Lil Dicky’s example)? Use it as the news hook that could push your campaign over the edge.

A noble cause goes a long way.

Lil Dicky’s song and video launch wasn’t just about commenting on saving the earth with no action. The words of the song are an entire fundraising campaign to donate to causes surrounding energy, nature and food. The campaign invites song supporters and earth lovers alike to sign petitions, buy merchandise, test their carbon footprints and donate to related causes.

When launching your next PR campaign, consider partner causes that may offer a mutual benefit. It’s not only a great way to drum up positive noise – it makes you and your organization feel good, too!

Draw them in with a familiar face – or 30.

As PR pros, we know the value of influencer partnerships, but Lil Dicky took it to the next level in Earth. The song featured the voices of more than 30 stars, including Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Halsey, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Adam Levine, Katy Perry and even Leonardo DiCaprio (an earth activist himself).

While you might not be able to secure these A-listers for your next campaign, never underestimate the value of influencer partnerships. Influencers are the bridge between a brand and its market awareness. While they’re great at generating leads, driving sales and creating content, their greatest strength is exposing your brand to their loyal followers.

You don’t need tons of money to benefit from using influencers; there are other ways to reach them, including organic influencer engagement.

Make it catchy.

Even though the song Earth isn’t composed from lyrical genius, you can’t deny its catchiness. The simple eight-word chorus is now being blasted across every social media channel, TV show and radio station around the world. And its memory will live on for a long time because of it.

The same strategy should be used in your PR efforts. The best way to hook a reporter, influencer or potential partner is by using a clever subject line, campaign title or hashtag.

Concise, catchy phrases are not only shareable, but they also give a specific campaign its memorable voice. Don’t be afraid to have fun and get creative.

Follow these lessons learned from newly appointed PR pro Lil Dicky, and your next PR campaign is sure to top the charts.

Written by: Alexea Candreva and Morgan Wolfe

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