Public Relations Lessons Learned from ‘The Bachelorette’

Photo courtesy of creativecommons.org.

Photo courtesy of creativecommons.org.

Only weeks ago, nearly six million viewers tuned in for the 2017 season premiere of “The Bachelorette,” on ABC. Nearly six million viewers watched as the beloved Rachel Lindsay met 31 suitors – one of whom could be her future husband.

I am not ashamed to say: I love watching “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” My friends make fun of me and my parents cringe – but no one can deny that the show is addicting. Whether you are on the bandwagon or not, “The Bachelorette” has a massive fan base and loyal following and in that regard, we can all learn a thing or two from the producers. Here are five public relations lessons we can take from “The Bachelorette:”

Diversify your platforms.

“The Bachelorette” is not just a TV show; the action does not stop once the clock strikes 10 p.m. on Mondays. The contestants all have their own social media accounts, which they run independently, even after their season ends. Fans of the show can follow the commentary on Instagram and Twitter, adding to the narrative – and to the drama.

Being present on multiple platforms ensures active engagement with audience members. If we do this for our clients, we can guarantee that our message is being received and our brand is known.

Tell a story.

We don’t all believe that “The Bachelorette” is a recipe for true love but we keep watching anyway because of the spectacles and the commotion. The truth is that viewers watch television for content and content can take plenty of forms. Viewers like a good story, and “The Bachelorette” is excellent at telling an interesting, theatrical and often contentious story.

When we are working with clients, we too need to develop a narrative that appeals to the target audience. Give them something to follow and a reason to stay involved with your organization. It doesn’t have to be quite as dramatic as a rose ceremony but it should be enough to keep people interested.

Be interactive.

When it comes to “The Bachelorette,” there is always a discussion – a debate, rather – to participate in. We all pick our favorite contestants, and we all know who we think needs to vacate the premises immediately (This season, it is definitely Lucas). People are constantly talking about the show so there are infinite opportunities to intermingle.

As public relations professionals, it is our job to start a conversation — and contribute to it. Keep your audience intertwined with the message; keep them engaged with the organization. That could mean replying to inquiries via social media, starting an online poll or any number of other interactions.

Teghan Simonton is a junior journalism and public relations student at Waynesburg University, where she serves as public relations director for Waynesburg PRSSA, and as managing editor for the award-winning newspaper, “The Yellow Jacket.” She also serves as the content and graphic coordinator for FORUM. Teghan is the  president of the Waynesburg chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a member of the communication honor society, Lambda Pi Eta. In her spare time, she runs for Waynesburg’s cross country and track teams, and reads any book she can get ahold of.

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