Using School PR to Create a Following Like The Kidz Bop Kids
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
Where do I begin with this one? I thought about starting with the brightly colored tutu’s and socks that were a staple with the female Kidz Bop fans. I also considered chatting about the high energy and unexpected, yet super professional, pyrotechnics that opened the concert. The one thing that truly caught my attention, though, is the number of Kidz Bop superfans that went wild upon the first beat drop. After years of staple kid-friendly tunes blasting from the radio, they still have a following that rivals any top charter.
As I joined into the singing, dancing, and beach volleyball tossing, I knew there was something to glean from this experience. The talent was surprisingly wonderful, the set was colorfully decorated with rotating backdrops, and the engagement was through the amphitheater’s imaginary roof. That ‘something’ that I gleaned was how to create (and keep) a following for my school district like Kidz Bop garners year after auto-tuned year.
Here is what I came up with:
1. Kidz Bop caters to kids and adults just like we should in a school system: There were moms, dads, and kids throughout the diverse audience. Everyone knew the songs, even though the adults may have been singing the original unedited version of the song.
In school communications, or any PR program, our messages must verbally and visually resonate with the kid and the adult. It may be different language but the message should cater to the audience we are trying to reach.
For example, the high schools in my school district each giveaway ONE CAR per high school at the end of the school year. The cars are donated by local automotive dealers. The criteria for this lottery drawing win is to have good grades, good attendance, and good behavior. We have to cater messages to the kids saying the exact expectation the school is looking for in a qualifier. For adults, we talk about the results gained from this popular incentive - at one high school attendance increased over 40 percent thanks to the donation of the car. Kids started coming to school! It's what we were looking for in the overall district goals, but we differentiated the message according to the audience to share the story.
2. Kidz Bop is consistent: One thing is for sure, there is a new Kidz Bop album that hits the airwaves several times a year. They consistently post reinvented lyrics to the songs we know and love. They consistently hold concerts. They consistently provide a great product. And our kids consistently want to tune in!
Consistency is key. When I am approached about a new project, I ask a plethora of questions to the chagrin of some of my colleagues. The thing is, I have to understand the purpose, the timeline, and how it fits into the mission of who we are as a school district. It is a dreadful feeling to post communications that are not correct or do not fit into the consistent values of my organization. Also, whether it is a social post, press release, or an interview, I am consistent with sharing district information with all of my audiences in a timely manner. And they come to expect it.
3. Kidz Bop reinvents their offerings: I had no idea the company started selling oldie but goodies. After the owners had children, they saw a need to provide music offerings for the tween audience.
Public relations is one of those fields that has to evolve. For example, social media stormed into the communications sphere, now we are utilizing the platform as a form of two-way communication and customer service. Education was a little behind the bandwagon, but we are catching up and catching on quickly. As PR pros, we have to reinvent the way and channels we communicate with our audiences. We are in the age of 24-hour news cycles, communities that expect transparency, and integrated marketing. Don’t get stuck in the oldies but goodies rut.
I must admit, I had fun at the confetti infested Kidz Bop concert. I was up singing and dancing along with the other parents, especially the dads who were called up on stage in an impromptu dance off! There were so many take-aways that could apply – from adding video and personal introductions throughout the school year to changing the pace of music and movement to keep the audience engaged. There wasn’t a dull moment, not even during intermission. That is the way I like to see my communication efforts last whether it’s via digital or tradition media. Overall, I know that catering my message to the right audience, providing consistency in communication offerings, and reinventing myself through professional learning and my messages through a variety of mediums will give my PR efforts the fireworks every kid expects when attending a Kidz Bop concert and some parents get, too.
*Kidz Bop finale ended like this.
*He would have a fit if he knew I posted this, but it was too funny not to!