Huzzyspeaks: Understanding PR and K Pop (pt 2)

Read Part 1 here

Disclaimer: Some slight opinions mixed in with facts. They should be obvious.

The Press Release

Recently, the news of Suzy and Lee Min Ho being a couple broke. I’m pretty sure the Dispatch were the one to cover it, because that’s their thing. Soonish, both of their companies released a joint statement.

Said statement was probably from a press release.

A press release is a way to tell the press that something is happening. Something can be an event, a scandal, a response to said scandal, a new product, etc.

All contact info including email, phone #, fax if necessary, some sort of address
Of COURSE in list form, keep it simple stupid
(If you want it to be released immediately, put that)
Catchy informative title in bold
Dateline- Company is doing this thing. This thing is important to the company. It will take place here and there, at this time. MORE INFORMATION that is useful to the reporter. I'm trying to make this sound appealing in three to four sentences with enough information so you don't throw this away after the 10 seconds you are going to give it (and that is being generous).
THANK YOU for your time and consideration, although I don't really mean it. If you have any questions feel FREE TO CONTACT me via this email and this number (which I gave you at the jump, but let's be honest you might not care about that).
Here is the boiler plate just to take up space. It is another paragraph that you don't need to read, but is there.
Have a nice day

This is the bare bones of what you are looking at. Now let’s add some K Pop flare to this.

HuzzyPop Entertainment to debut new girl group in April
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA- HuzzyPop Entertainment will be debuting a new girl group by the end of April. The girl group's name has been decided to be Flower Child, and will be a four member girl group. The group represents the beauty and resilience in nature, and will show their charms with a spring based concept. Promotional teasers will be released in the upcoming week, with the group's official debut expected to take place during the last full week of April.
THANK YOU for your time and consideration. If you have any questions feel FREE TO CONTACT me via this email and this number.
Huzzypop Entertainment is one of the leading music labels in Korean Pop. Other words...for more than a paragraph.
Have a nice day

Press Releases are designed the way they are for one reason and one reason only. Quicka nd easy reading. All the relevant information to the actual story is in the first paragraph. Why is that? Because chances are you are not the only one sending reporters a statement on any given day. Chances are there are several (Read a lot) of press releases being sent to a journalist. They do not have enough time to look through every one of them with an attentive eye, and then go do the research for their story, on top of the work they have to do that day. No…they got shit to do, so there is pretty much a 3 second rule (I say 10 seconds to be optimistic, but usually 3 is the rule). If your story is interesting, then yay. Expect a story/call for follow up information.

Sidenote: Ideally they are supposed to not just copy and paste the entire statement…but…you know ethics are somehow very complicated in these things).

Also  you need to have developed good relationships with these people. Of course understand there are limits (mostly set from ethical issues), but if you can make a few positive relationships with certain news outlets, or even the reporters themselves, you have a much better chance of getting a story out there (as well as a positive one).

Now the ethical issue in this: Too good of a relationship and a dirty journalist could end up with…well

The Dispatch’s story of Jessica’s departure included “exclusive” information from people who were close to Jessica.

Something shady is amiss.

Now this was an obvious PR stunt on SM’s part to make Jessica look bad (which was not really that hard to do, but I will get to that later). Why would they do that? This “information” seemed way to easy to get. Especially since it sounded like it was from several sources. Also it was super…general. All of it sounded like the exact speculation fans were making for some time. It seemed super convenient that everything said against Jessica was negative and easy to accept. And the fact that the journalist at question just went with it, with not follow up or deeper investigating is an issue.

Overall the relationship between PR and Journalism has always been a tricky one, but when it comes to K Pop, it feels…the beneficial aspect of it is very off in my opinion. I can’t speak too critically because I don’t know what it is like over there as a journalist in South Korea, but I am not too fond of how it works.

Anyway moving on.

The internet

K Pop owes a lot of it’s progression to the digital age. In fact what is K Pop now, seems to have grown at the very same time that the internet was growing. When it comes to PR, the internet is the easiest way to do things. Shit is free on the internet? Do you know how much I am paying to do this blog? Not a damn thing. I could probably get better services if I upgraded and all that, but this is just fine and I can still get my message out there at a great rate. Now I imagine K Pop companies really only have to pay for their website space, but other than that…who paying for shit on here? Twitter, youtube, blogging sites, weibo, whatever else…more than likely FREE.99.

On top of *most* of it being free, you can hit a broader audience with your message at bigger rate.

The other issue is making use of the internet in creative ways. As I said on the other post: the best thing these companies have been doing is pre-subbing shit for us non Korean speakers. Not only does it allow us to have some sort of understanding of what is going on, but we can enjoy the product at a better rate at that very moment. Also the release of content is smart.

A really dumb PR move is the whole baiting fans into views for some dumb ass video. The whole: you get us to 10 million we will give you a dance practice thing is sad. Considering that most fans will plan to spam the youtube videos as a way to say happy birthday…moot point in my opinion.

Still it gets them views, and the fans will completely ignore that they have been using a set system to increase them views as a way to say happy birthday/for a video/etc, only to brag about it later…eh.

That being said youtube is a lifesaver for K Pop. Not only can they upload their videos onto a site that manages the stats for them, they also have a *free* space to upload original content. JYP groups usually upload random videos for their groups called Real whatever. People love them.

Other companies do things such as random fun videos, “Journals/Diaries” which has a group sitting in front of a camera just being random. Some like to upload music content…like Spica’s covers.

To be honest, the internet is possibly the best thing K Pop has right now. Free, greater reach, FREE, and potential to be used creatively.

 Promo Campaigns/Tours.

This is the meat of K Pop. When a group returns, or debuts they can’t just say here you go, and expect things to turn out well. Nope, there is more work to put on top of the months prior to this release. That is the promo tour. Where does it start? Well while the group is in the midst of recording, there is more than likely meetings being held by several people to figure out just what is going to be done to promote them. In K pop it is very…very…very…uniform. You are going to see the same method be used over and over again from start to finish. The only differences come from how relevant you are (which may mean your promo can end a little early or a little later).

First there is the press release (which is sent to news sources that will report it). In said news release, there will be the official statement saying that so and so is coming back/debuting at this time (if you have a confirmed date down). Sometimes the acts will confirm it ahead of time, but that official release is what starts the real work. After that, we are looking at the release of teasers. These pictures are usually released through official sources such as their Facebook page, official site page, or twitter. If it is a debut, we are going to get group name, logo, images for the members, with information, and then the debut teaser images.

Now all of this is happening in a span of a 2-3 weeks.

The release of video and audio is usually the last part, and with good reason. Another statement is made usually about the song. Name, some corny ass description about it, and release date. That little slice of PR is obnoxious to me for some reason. Just having another statement in the middle of this is…eh. After the release of the music video, and subsequently whatever project it is attached to are all pretty strategic moves. You’re excited, ready, and anxious. In south Korea it happens at Midnight, where I am from it is about 11 in the morning. Good timing on my part.

After that: Music shows, radio shows, variety appearances, an increase in photoshoot opportunities and fansigns!

Which takes over the span of a month (if you are lucky longer), and then you go about trying to find work to occupy that space after your album release.

Campaigns are the overall method for extensive PR work. Your message needs more than a week to get out there. In K Pop, it would be: buy my album, I promise you it isn’t garbage. Of course that isn’t always true, but the campaign is there to make it something of a possibility. Outside of K Pop, campaigns range from several things. When you have a new product and want to promote it?

Apple is notoriously good at these. They have a large following with media coverage coming out there ass because of their name alone. So when a new item comes out, they have their TV ads, ads for online use (these are typically longer and more in depth), they have shit lined up for magazines, press conferences…all for a phone. And it works. Apple knows how to handle their PR and they continuously see fantastic results because of it.

In K Pop, of course it is different because these groups are not ingrained into our society at such a level as Apple products are, but promo tours are essentially the way they get their name out.

If there is one example of a positive tour…CLC’s

Them going around busking (street jamming) was a smart idea. Not only was this proactive and forced the group to go out and gain an audience, Cube made sure to film it and released videos on youtube.

CLC on their promo run.

Genius. Now it didn’t bring in the best results. Of course this is their debut, and they were going against groups with bigger names, but honestly…Cube won this in my opinion.

Press Conference

Oddly enough, this isn’t exactly uncommon in this particular industry. A press conference is a long news event where an organization discusses something that cannot be said on a press release and needs much more time to discuss and develop thoughts. Usually a representative does the Conference (The CEO or some other big official in the organization), and there are many journalist from several news sources there to report it. Some press conference are streamed online now, or released later on (if not both).

In K Pop, the Press Conference looks like this:

Miss A’s comeback had all the usual fixings, with an added showcase that acted as a press conference for the group. They discussed the album, success, Suzy’s new man, all that stuff, in front of a large group of reporters, who would then go and write about it, and release official pictures that furthered their message: Miss A is releasing an album titled COlors (and Suzy got a man).

I personally think Press Conferences are a great form of PR when used correctly. Of course you have to prepare. You have to know what you are going to say and do before hand. That even means predicting questions from the journalist. I doubt Suzy had not been prepped to talk about Lee Min Ho. I doubt it. Especially since that was released days before they were slated to return. Also the usual answers about how they feel about the album, some random stories about the creative process, all that is usually prepped before hand, because they are obviously going to be brought up during something like this.

PR doesn’t just end here. To be honest it depends on what you are trying to achieve. As stated before, the publics has a lot to do with what you are going to be doing. Of course there is PR that will be used for any publics. But the internet has been really useful when handling fans. Press Conference are essentially a way to deal with the media…

In part three we talk about the big bad. Crisis Comm.


Sources: 1TheK (Miss A’s Melon Showcase), B2M (SPICA Cup song)


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