Five PR Lessons From ‘The Voice’

Why are so many of us addicted to “The Voice”? For me, it’s not because I am constantly reminded of what a poor singer I am.  I have my kids to remind me of that. Why I like “The Voice” over other reality shows has more to do with the mix of great singers, charismatic judges and weekly lessons in finding something nice to say over and over to countless strangers.

At PR News, we find there’s a PR angle to every story, to every brand, to every situation. In the case of “The Voice,” I want to share a few take-aways for anyone who spends their day in communications and management.

Listen.  Sometimes you need to remove your sense of vision and all the biases that come with it. You just might look at someone differently and hear something you never expected.  While I don’t recommend turning your chair around in a meeting and closing your eyes, a keen focus on listening will help you hear a message loud and a clear.

Diversify. When putting together a team, mix it up. “The Voice” judges choose a wide array of talented contestants for their teams; Blake isn’t choosing all country singers and Usher isn’t picking all hip-hop singers.  They are looking for that X factor, for people with potential and by choosing a diverse group of singers they are hedging their bets.

Encourage.  Notice how the judges are so darn nice to every contestant. They find something encouraging to say to those who aren’t chosen this time – in normal parlance known as “losers”.  The judges don’t criticize.  They implore the contestants to work on one or two weaknesses and invite them to try again.

Laugh.  When there’s chemistry among a small team – such as with Shakira, Adam, Usher and Blake – laughter ensues. Take time to find the humor in your day. Something has to be funny.

Be Real. There’s one aspect of “The Voice” and with many reality shows that irk me and possibly you too: the supposed live tweets as we’re watching the show. You’d have to be a fool to believe there isn’t a ghost tweeter for each of the judges. The second a contestant wins or loses, we see a tweet from the judges as if they are telepathically sending a message to their iphone to tweet a sentiment. C’mon, we’re smarter than that (right?).  When you like a brand as much as I like “The Voice” and you feel the judges are otherwise authentic, the fake tweets can sour the experience.  Just show the viewers’ tweets on the screen – after all, we need a voice too.

– Diane Schwartz







  • Debbie Twomey

    I so totally agree and make this a night for friends to share with me

  • James Raulerson

    My family and I enjoy The Voice and I agree, these five lessons apply not only in PR, but in life as well.

  • margaux

    Couldn’t be more agree with you. So true. Nice analyze!

  • Corporate Social Responsibility in India

    Listening & keeping the approach real is one of the basic but most important minutes of PR. Any PR strategy can not be effective if it does not evolve with time and diversify.

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