6 PR takeaways from the reboot of ‘American Idol’

The new-look competition offers more than incredibly talented—and humorous—contestants. Consider these PR lessons from the hit show.

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Are you tuning in for the return of the beloved singing competition?

First, I watched with some skepticism, but it’s winning me over. Not only is it entertaining, but there are lessons PR pros can learn from watching the show.

Here are six takeaways:

1. Use storytelling for the win.

Contest backstories are one of the hallmarks of “American Idol.” The stories range from funny to touching to just plain incredible.

There are stories like the contestant whose mother traded him for a car, or the story of the man from Compton who was faced with the choice of adopting his sister’s baby—or allowing him to enter the foster care system.

Through these stories, we get to know the contestants and feel even more connected to them when they sing. We want to know what happens to them and are eager to follow their stories.

If you can include elements of storytelling in your PR efforts, including your media pitches, articles and press releases, chances are they’ll be more successful.

2. Bring in a human element.

When “American Idol” gives viewers a glimpse into the lives of the contestants, we see the human side. Of course, emotion wins the day.

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