Taylor Swift Hack

I’ve presented and written about the brilliance of the Taylor Swift brand in the past, but rumors of her being the subject of another celebrity social media hacking incident once again has me in praise of Ms. Swift and her team.

As the story goes, Taylor’s social media account was “hacked” and the “hackers” threatened to release personal information and (gasp) nude photos.

Team Taylor responded with two brilliant posts and totally defused the situation in less than 280 characters.

First, she paraphrased the words to her single “Shake It Off” to read: “Hackers gonna hack, hack, hack hack.” (My apologies, anyone who’s heard the song knows that once it’s in your head, you won’t be able to get it out for awhile.) Point: she already had art that could take on such an issue and she deflected everyone to it.

Secondly, and more importantly blunting the nude bomb – a paraphrased post of “psh, you wish there were photos. Have fun Photoshopping” quelled the furor.

Whether nude photos actually exist is not the point. My guess is Team Taylor is so media savvy that nothing exists. But even if it does, by entering Photoshopping into the mix, she automatically created doubt around the authenticity. Brilliant!

Team Taylor 2  Hackers 0

So in the end, it’s probably a non-story, but a great example of how to turn the tide in your favor. She’s diffused a potential black eye situation, sold a few more downloads, and tied her brand in a positive way back into her art.

Most of us don’t have millions of followers, but there are some lessons in here for how to be smart and witty to protect and advance your brand given a situation which may be negative.

My disclaimer is that if I were a cynic, I might interpret the hack as a contrived incident to put Taylor Swift back on the top of the trending stories for the minute. However, I’d rather embrace my naiveté and believe that it was a smart response to a potential negative story.

Besides, it’s so hard to find a good hero (or heroine) to believe in these days!

About

Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years. Currently, Sean is a principal in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the U.S. including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference. Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street, a program of the Allentown Chamber of Commerce in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire or email him anytime at sking.aspire@gmail.com

Posted in Brand, Marketing, Social Media

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About Sean King
Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years.  Currently, Sean is a principle in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the United States including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference.  Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street program in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. He also blogs a artsmarketingblog.org.  You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire. Sean resides with his wife Natalie and son Haydn in the global crossroads of Fogelsville, Pa.