'An investigation of how Taylor Swift used social media during the promotion of her album '1989'
(2017) 'An investigation of how Taylor Swift used social media during the promotion of her album '1989', no. 96.
Social media has proven itself as the new main medium for distributing information without the need of gatekeepers or third parties such as journalists, traditional press and TV (Bratu 2016). The channel brought a revolution by providing opportunities for direct communication between individuals, businesses and their stakeholders, but also between public figures and their respective audiences (Bright 2014). Public image and representation were hugely influenced by traditional media in the past and shaped the way people perceived various elements of celebrities' lives, their contribution to the society and dictated their popularity (Harris 1991). Such publicity can be recognised in social media posts (Aula 2010) - only that the same various elements of life are communicated and framed directly by the artists themselves; and that virtually the reach of social media is limitless. As social media has proven to be an excellent PR tool and marketing opportunity (Valentini 2015; Kelleher 2009; Coombs & Holladay 2014), this research aims to explore how the music artist Taylor Swift makes use of her large audience reach on social media during the promotion of the album '1989' to gather an understanding of what communication and PR tactics are implemented within the content she publishes. Taylor Swift is one of the best-selling and most successful music artists on the planet and is known for her continuous and successful use of social media (see Appendix 1), so therefore she will be a very relevant subject of analysis, the conclusions of which will prove beneficiary for public relations practitioners.