For the next recipient of the Pop Culture HR Award and the last one to give out in 2009, I’m going to the HR Buzzword for the year: Branding. Personal, Employee, Employer Branding has been the second hottest topic (behind social media) in HR. In honor of that, I present to you the Seventh Pop Culture HR Award Winner:
Let me get this out of the way: She has a wonderful voice, but made made terrible decisions from Glitter to the marriage of Tommy Mottola. Now, why I give her an HR award? There are two main reasons:
Mariah was part of the music industry and one of a few who broke out. She had the voice and image that people want to die for. You hear in most of the 2000s that Mariah was crazy and has her breakdown. Could it be the demand from her record company to do everything? At that time, she was an employee for Virgin and the executives can do whatever they want to do for her. Now with record labels fumbling to handle technology, Mariah took it to her own hands and is doing the dirty work for herself and it is paying dividends. She admits she hates doing it, but it is the only way of survival in the music business, which leads me to…
Mariah understands now that selling music doesn’t cut it. You have to promote products you like and people would buy. Mariah had her own line of clothes and makeup. However, if fans want to “truly” know Mariah, they buy her most recent album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, but if you live in a selected market, not only you get the album, but an Elle Magazine dedicated to Mariah. Not the cover story, not 10 pages of ads…A whole magazine including Mariah articles, ads supporting Mariah, and free samples by Mariah. Also, the Elle deal cover the costs of making the album, so if they only sell one album, it makes the profit. In addition, her PR are leaking press releases to bloggers and real fans to know where Mariah will be next.
You may or may not like her music, and Mariah was not the first person to have this approach, but is she is doing it the best and thus the 7th recipient of the Pop Culture HR Award.