I must first make you aware of my bias in what I am about to write: I am a Beyonce fan. Now not to the level where I have ever packed up all that I own to follow her on tour or that my room is decorated with her posters, but I do have enough of the “Single Ladies” dance memorized to give a rather accurate performance of it, and I have seen Destiny’s Child: Behind the Music more than once.
This week Beyonce made news not through a press release or press conference, which would have been a simple route for her to take, but by making a major announcement on her own to her fans. On Oct. 16, Beyonce posted this photo on her tumblr page:
In this photo, Beyonce sports the black eye grease that football players wear on the field in order to reduce the glare of the sun. In the eye grease is written the date “FEB 3 2012” the date of Super Bowl XLVII.
Beyonce’s post followed the Associated Press breaking the story the day before saying that an anonymous source had tipped them off about her half-time performance:
A source familiar with the Super Bowl told The Associated Press the Grammy-winning diva will take the stage at the halftime show on Feb. 3, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because that person wasn’t authorized to publicly reveal the information.
The official announcement is expected Wednesday, the source said.
Beyonce, whose pop and R&B hits include “Crazy in Love,” “Irreplaceable” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” has won 16 Grammy Awards. The 31-year-old sang the national anthem at the 2004 Super Bowl in her hometown of Houston when the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers.
After posting this photo, Beyonce received more than 17,000 re-blogs directly from her tumblr and thousands of others that were indirectly re-blogged from her site.
The official Super Bowl XLVII Twitter account posted later that day a tweet about Beyonce’s performance with the same photo she used.
Whether Beyonce had planned to announce the news on that day or if it was because of the AP story, she handled it as she does with all things, on her own terms. In this way, she allowed her fans to be the news spreaders rather than a sea of media outlets who were all receiving the same press release.
How do you feel about Queen B’s announcement? Is it good PR to have your client be the literal face (and only a face) of such big news? Did you find it creative or not? Do you think it stunted the spread of the news by not sending it to media outlets who can reach a greater population than just her tumblr followers?