Take a Crisis and ‘Shake It Off’

Crisis communications in public relations can have many different interpretations, but no matter the crisis at hand, there is one factor as a PR practitioner that remains intact: to alleviate the damage to our client’s reputation. So, in an endlessly evolving culture the question still remains the same; how do we (the PR people) navigate the outcome of a potential crisis? Get creative.

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As a daily Spotify consumer and an avid PR practitioner, I couldn’t help but take note of the most recent happenings in pop culture news. Taylor Swift’s abrupt decision to remove her entire catalog from Spotify’s vast music collection following the release of her most recent album, titled “1989.”


Although Swift’s decision is disappointing to her fans (like me!), Spotify’s clever response is one for the books. In a recent blog post, the streaming service issued a statement saying:


“We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.”


Following the statement, Spotify also included two custom-designed playlists, one of which, when all the song’s titles are spelled out reads, “Hey Taylor, we wanted you to play your amazing love songs and they’re not here right now. We want you back with us, and so do, do, do your fans.”

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While Swift’s removal of her music from Spotify’s collection may not be the most devastating crisis in the history of music, we can benefit from taking note of the creative and somewhat humorous tactics Spotify incorporated into their response to Swift’s decision.


Well played Spotify, well played.


Written by: Andrea Feehan