Just like the Spice Girls, NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys stole the hearts of young guys and gals in the ’90s and early 2000s, Justin Bieber has taken over the heartthrob role for today’s tweens and teens.
Even if you’re not a fan of the Biebster, you can’t say you haven’t heard of him. Bieber had PR game before he had PR professionals, bodyguards and millions of fans. According to his official website (www.justinbiebermusic.com), his homemade YouTube videos garnered more than 10 million hits by word of mouth alone in 2007.
A few years later, 15-year-old Bieber has a record label, a handful of hit songs, an illustrated memoir, an upcoming movie and an impressive legion of fans – which make up three percent of Twitter’s server infrastructure, according to a recent article on mashable.com.
What does Justin Bieber have to do with PR?
You may have heard about Bieber’s laser tag mishap last Friday. (If you haven’t, Google it – you’ll be amazed at how many major media outlets covered the story.) According to a post in the PR Junkie section of communications blog, ragan.com, a 12-year-old boy claimed Bieber hit him during a game of laser tag. Less than 24 hours after initial reports of the assault, additional reports surfaced suggesting that Bieber simply stuck up for himself after being cornered and bullied by a group of young kids.
Earlier this week, TMZ reported that Bieber (who now has a real PR team) wants to take a stand against bullying and homophobia by joining an anti-bullying campaign. According to the report,
“Bieber is telling friends he had no idea how hurtful these comments could be — but even though he’s a straight teenager, he now wants to take a stand against bullying and homophobia.”
Perfect timing, no?
Personally, I think whoever is backing Bieber is doing a good job. His PR people seem to understand that he is 15, mischievous (please see the Econsultancy article about Bieber taking revenge on Twitter), and still learning about the do’s and don’ts of the industry.
What do you think about Bieber joining the anti-bullying campaign? Do you think it’s a smart PR move? How would you suggest handling the situation as a PR professional?