Thursday, October 13, 2016

PR Lessons From Bob Dylan

In honor of Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature (!), I’m looking for PR and communications lessons from his lyrics, life, personal brand or whatever.

1. Unbeknownst to many, Dylan is a master of rebranding. Born Robert Allen Zimmerman, he began introducing himself as “Bob Dylan” during his Dinkytown days. The new name was not only perfect (his expressive lyrics were influenced by the poetry of Dylan Thomas); it was also permanent. (If only George “T-Bone” Costanza were as successful as choosing his nickname.)

What’s more, when he tried to change his tune/brand, via the Bob Dylan Gospel Tour in 1979-1980, his exposure paled in comparison to that from his original persona

2. Dylan was a perfectionist — but not in the humblebrag way that most PR pros today claim they are. For example, he famously went through 40 pages in rewriting the song “Dignity,” which he ended up cutting from his album, Oh Mercy. (Note to junior account execs: how many drafts did you go through in writing your last press release?)

Addendum: Success!

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