Music may be a universal language, but everyone has a favorite dialect. Genres are often important to a person’s sense of self. Who you listen to matters. Most people have a favorite artist or genre, but they are open to new musical experiences. They know they might not like it, but they are willing to give it a shot. In the Public Relations industry, we call that an opportunity.
One of the key concepts of basic marketing is called “participation.” This is the idea of attracting new clients or customers and turning them into fans. One of the main catalysts of this sort of marketing is employing current fans to introduce your product or service to their friends, family or coworkers. How can you do this if you love orchestral music but everyone else you know digs rock-n-roll? Chances are your local orchestra already has this figured out.
#1 – Guest artists as soloists
Many orchestras will invite a superstar solo act from rock or pop to join them for a special series of shows. They do this not only to get wider exposure, but to give their loyal fans the opportunity to do a little one-on-one entertainment PR. “Hey, did you know so and so will be singing with the orchestra next month? We should get some tickets!”
#2 – Crossover performances
One of the most famous rock-opera crossovers happened when two members of the international super band, U2, joined forces with opera powerhouse Pavarotti. Their single took the world by storm and is still getting airplay on YouTube and mass downloads on iTunes.
#3 – Rock series
As the boomers grow older, classical concert orchestras have increasingly added rock songs and series to their repertoire. And why not? That generation came of age during the glory years of the British Invasion. The idyllic harmonies of the Beatles and the huge wall of sound generated by Pink Floyd pair perfectly with a full orchestra. And even a much younger crowd can remember the orchestral arrangements on Guns N’ Roses and Smashing Pumpkins albums. Replaying these arrangements are a terrific way for orchestras to introduce new fans to their talent and create that “participation” every entertainment act needs to succeed.