Alice Cooper, Pat Benatar PR- & You

I began in the media world as a freelance writer.  My focus was on music, primarily rock.  I learned how the PR and marketing machines worked, but also learned how working with their teams, rock acts formed their own brands and created their own legends.  For example, two of the rock stars I interviewed, Alice Cooper and Pat Benatar and Kate took very different paths and approaches, but both created an image and a brand that defined them, and made them quite a bit of money.

Alice (Vincent Damon Furnier) had perhaps the most fun of any rock star with his mage, paving the way for KISS and a plethora of shock rock bands.  The band was the house band at the Whiskey on the Sunset Strip and became the band to walk out on (something I had to admit to Alice that I had done myself).  As the image and act grew, he added guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa constrictors, and baby dolls to his act, drawing on a number of  influences from horror films, and vaudeville acts, to the more theatrical Broadway musicals.  He pioneered an over-the-top, theatrical and uber violent brand of heavy metal created to shock and rock.  In person, Alice is a fun, funny amiable guy, who talks about his alter ego with a wink and a smile.

Not as over the top as Alice, Benatar created her own alter ego.  Initially Benatar’s focus was on classical and Broadway theatrical styles. Rock did not seem to be in the cards.  Inspired by Liza Millelli she quit her job as a bank teller and decided to give a singing career a stab.  Yet, Out of that Pat Benatar the rock sex goddess was born, which lead to two multi platinum albums and decades of success.  Again this was a case of creating a brand, an image and turning that brand into a career and an amazingly successful business.

You might think you have nothing in common with Alice Copper or Pat Benatar, but (surprise) you’re wrong.  Chances are you’re not launching a new rock act (then again maybe you are), but the basic gameplan of creating a brand and an image is the same whether you’re an entertainer, an entrepreneur, a physician, an attorney, a jeweler, or the owner of a new social media site.  You want to establish your brand.  You want to create that message, story and image that is specifically you and that separates you from the competition.  Your brand and story can be loud and carnival like or extremely subtle and sophisticated.  It depends on you and your company.   You’re image probably won’t have much to do with spandex, guillotines, or over the top make up.  Then again, if it does – use it!

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012

 Ochs, Michael. “Alice Cooper.” Photo. Rolling Stone. 02 May 2012. <http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/alice-cooper>
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