When Taylor Swift was named New York City’s Global Welcome Ambassador in October 2014 shortly after she relocated to the city, some New Yorkers were less than enthused about the decision.
Swift, who was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Tennessee at 14 to pursue a career in country music, was criticized as not being worthy of the title.
But now it appears that Swift listened to her critics.
Swift—following up on a promise she made around the time she was named ambassador—has donated $50,000 to New York’s public schools, according to reports.
Tree Paine, Swift’s publicist, told The New York Times that the singer will continue to donate the proceeds she receives from the sale of the single "Welcome to New York" to New York City public schools.
The tune is from Swift’s album, "1989," which has sold more than 4 million copies, the Times said.
The charitable effort points to Swift’s PR savvy. Not only did she listen to the naysayers but also she picked a cause that even the most hardened New Yorker can get behind: funding public education.
Another PR lesson: This isn't a one-shot deal but a sustained effort that can make a legitimate difference in the lives of New York City public school students.
Swift got out in front of the situation and created a new narrative that bolsters her street cred. Her donation should create goodwill and turn the criticism of her being a naïve New York transplant into a distant memory.
Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1