P.R Lessons From Adele’s Success


Admit it – like a million plus others, you are a fan of Adele and have likely downloaded and had her latest single on constant repeat. It’s okay, I understand – we’ve all fallen victim to her spell. And if by some small miracle you haven’t, it would be almost impossible to get away from her significant impact on the current pop culture landscape, which may actually be a good thing. Because even if you are in the minority of not being a fan, there is actually a lot the public relations industry can learn from Adele’s incredible success and influence.

Be Likable – One of Adele’s greatest attributes is her likability factor. While this seems like an obvious and simple enough quality for any organization to have, its importance cannot be understated. Individuals can like an organization’s product as much as possible but if they find the organization unlikable, eventually it will affect their willingness to purchase and consume from them. This is after all why a good public image is so significant to the success of any organization.

Be Relatable – One of the main appeals of Adele’s music, is that it is relatable. After all, she sings about one of the oldest and most basic of human emotions, love – something that many can relate to. Relatability is key for the success of organizations because it is one of the simplest ways to connect to individuals and the organization’s public. It allows the organization to speak a language their audience understands and is familiar with, which increases the likelihood of success.

Know Your Audience – There have been some criticism that Adele’s music is a bit predictable because it all deals with relationships. However, as the saying goes, “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That is the music her fans love and expect from her and she knows it. By that same token, it is essential that organizations know their audience or public. It is just one of the many reasons research of and understanding your organization’s public is so important. That is, knowing who they are, what interests and motivates them, etc.

Be Authentic – Along with her likability and relatability, another of Adele’s greatest attributes is her authenticity. As it’s been said, she comes across as a real person with an unreal talent. And authenticity is very important in public relations and for organizations. As I have stated repeatedly on this blog, public relations is a story telling function and as practitioners, we are tasked with telling an organization’s story. And that story should be told as honestly. On their part, organizations must also be as honest and authentic as possible because the hardest thing to come back from, is losing the public’s trust.

Do Not Overwhelm Your Audience – There is an old adage of “always leave them wanting more.” After the phenomenal success of her last album 21, Adele quietly retreated back to her life in England and took almost three years off. Many believe this time away helped increase the anticipation and excitement for her new album and played a part in the overwhelming response to her current single. The same can apply to the success of organizations. It is important to satisfy your audience but not inundate them with too many options, products, etc. Doing so may actually create the opposite of the desired effect. As public relations practitioners, it is also important that we understand this as well. That is why factors such as having just the right amount of social media posts, not sending out too many emails, not releasing too many press releases, etc. are all so important.


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