Silence is golden and in an age of constant online noise – it might just be the trick to create a little buzz around your clients. In the world of entertainment, artists like Radiohead, Beyonce and Adele have all recently employed radio silence as part of their promotional activity in the run-up to major releases.
It might seem counter-intuitive but the void of content followed by simple, low-key announcements seems to create a bigger bang than more traditional high-profile campaigns. Despite the acres of press coverage this almost anti-PR stance has earned the aforementioned pop stars, there is nothing new about this strategy.
Music moguls have cloistered their artists away from public view prior to a big release for years. Malcolm Maclaren made it virtually impossible to catch the Sex Pistols live, prompting a ton of debate about whether they could play or not. In the 1980’s Guns ‘n’ Roses disappeared from their beloved Sunset Strip where they made their name and honed their skills on the European tour circuit prior to their debut album release which went on to sell 30 million+ copies. Even publicity hungry Simon Cowell likes to keep a lid on his X-Factor winners for a good 12-months or so, allowing them to transform from TV talent show hopefuls to fully fledged pop-stars.
The theory goes, keep the public guessing and they will build their own hype.
But could this work outside of the entertainment industry?
Yes and No.
For organisations like Apple, who have a fan base not dissimilar to that of a rock star, a well-placed period of silence – might just be enough to get the fanboys and fangirls into a social media frenzy. For the rest of us, we’d probably fall off the planet.
The moral of the story, is silence can be an effective communications strategy – but only if the void is filled with millions of voices shouting out: “Why has everything gone so quiet?”