Music luminary David Bowie died over the weekend. Like I’m sure many of you may be, I’m saddened by the news. He definitely left his mark on the world with his music and his way of life.
In Bowie’s honor, I thought I’d do a light-hearted post today and reflect a bit on his music and lyrics. It occurred to me upon some reflection that several of the song titles and themes he immortalized into song are things that we as professional communicators encounter often. Take these examples:
• “Under Pressure” – This could be one of the theme songs of PR. You know it’s true. What’s more, every once in a while we have to call in a superstar to help us out – just like Bowie did with Freddie Mercury. Hopefully our collaborations can turn out even remotely as good as this one did.
• “Modern Love” or “Changes” – It’s been said often that change is one of the few constants in our world. In our industry, it’s the advent of social media…the emergence of digital…the new ways of communicating. Adapting to the new and modern will always be an essential part of good PR work.
• “Fame” – Publicity, and the consequences of it, can have quite an impact on a person or an organization. It’s how we build and manage it that matters!
• “Young Americans” – For years now, one of the top themes I see at industry conferences has been how to manage and work with Millennials. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
• “China Girl” – Globalization has had quite the impact on the economy, and it’s forced us to adapt in many ways. Pretty remarkable, when you think about it.
• “Heroes” – This might be my favorite Bowie tune, because of the cool music and the incredible optimism and mentality the lyrics depict. At the end of the day, we’re trying to create, build and sustain heroic figures. Tell big, impactful stories. Do herculean things. Have a real impact. Just like the subjects of this song.
Bowie stuck to his guns and created one of the more diverse, eclectic song catalogs in music history – with a slew of hits tossed in there for good measure. I have great respect for him not just for doing this, but for doing it how he did. It’s a great example for all of us to learn from.