PR lessons from… Miley Cyrus?

4th October 2013 by Annie0

If you haven’t heard of Miley Cyrus, the likelihood is that you have been living under a rock in the Sahara for the past few months.

At just 20 years old, the former Disney star boasts a global profile many brands would kill for. Google turns up over 883 million results and 14.4 million people follow her on Twitter. Not bad for a reasonably talented young pop star.

Admittedly, she has been given a headstart on most of us – her role in Hannah Montana and famous father have undoubtedly helped catapult the American to stardom – but her dramatic ascent to global fame contains a number of important lessons for anyone PRO.

Whether you find her fascinating, or loathe her music and the mere thought of her ‘twerking’ at the MTV VMAs, her self-publicity is certainly worth studying. One thing is for sure, the controversy that surrounds her is not an accident.

So, what are the secrets behind Miley’s meteoric rise to fame?


Depending on the business you’re in, a PR stunt can work wonders. These attention-attracting gimmicks are intended to do just that – cut through the noise of the media landscape and get you noticed. Just look at my recent blog post about the ‘End Marmite Neglect’ campaign.

Sex sells

This might be stating the obvious, but sexing up a product can be hugely effective. This age-old strategy has been employed again and again, with some fantastic results. It might not work for every business, but used wisely can create some great opportunities. Check out these examples.

Create an impression

After her performance at the VMAs, Cyrus may have been widely criticised but her name was on the lips of people worldwide. We probably won’t be recommended twerking on international television to our clients though…

Speak to your target market

Unsurpsingly, the vast majority of Cyrus’ critics post-VMAs came from mums and dads who accused the youngster of being immoral, inappropriate and a terrible role model for their kids. Hardly a problem for the songstresss; after all, she isn’t trying to sell her album to ‘old’ people, rather the teenages who now think she is the coolest thing on the planet – with the added bonus that their parents hate her. What could be better? She knows exactly who her target market is and knows how to speak directly to them, exactly what we look to do in our PR campaigns.

Get social

Now just another part of the PR and marketing mix, social media is a great way to interact with your customers. Miley’s 14 million followers speak for themselves here…


Now, I’m not suggesting that anyone looking to heighten their public profile cuts off their hair, covers themselves in tattoos or prances around in a nude body suit, but clever innovation can provide a great angle for promoting your brand or product.

There you have it. Far from original and edgy, Miley Cyrus is just a fantastic example of maximising PR.

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