Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR
Massive pop band BTS, and their Public Relations team, spent the week dealing with attacks from Chinese fans and politicians for comments related to the Korean conflict. Fortunately for the band, their international fans had their back, coming out in force, especially on social media, to support the guys in the group they love. Others, however, say they plan to make an even deeper investment in the band.
Fans of all ages connected with international media, who talked with them about the reasons they appreciate BTS. One of the first quoted was Rei, a 44-year-old who left teaching to raise her kids. Rei says she “traveled overseas” to see the seven-member boy band in concert and remains a “huge fan.”
But Rei, along with many others, is more excited about the opportunity to make an actual financial investment in BTS. The band’s agency, Big Hit Entertainment, went public on October 15, allowing fans to literally buy into their favorite group’s future.
Speaking to the media, Rei said, “Definitely, I am not selling once I get (a share). This is for eternity… I want to show my heart by having that stock…”
Rei is not alone. Market watchers expected the stock to be one of the largest IPOs of the year on the Korean stock exchange, with countless investors and fans hoping to buy a piece of one of the biggest bands in the world.
The success of this venture will be, in large part, thanks to the band’s knack for connecting with fans. Entertainment PR can be challenging, and BTS has faced its share of both positive and negative headlines, but what has not been flagged, for the most part, is their connection with their loyal fans across the globe. Thanks to the way the group has chosen to connect with their fan base, many people have essentially melded being a BTS fan into their lives in the same way previous generations followed the Beatles or the Grateful Dead.
But, unlike so-called “Dead Heads,” BTS fans don’t have to shift their lifestyles to follow the band and live out the songs. Thanks to an active and interactive social media presence, as well as well-presented appearances at events and for causes, the members of BTS have given fans many different ways to connect and participate in the fandom as they wish.
Understanding how to build and maintain this give-and-take, ongoing, and interactive relationship is fast becoming a necessary aspect of modern entertainment PR campaigns, and not just for bands. Writers, movie stars, directors, TV producers… if you are in entertainment in any way, building and maintaining a healthy social platform is a must. BTS has done that… and now they are literally reaping direct financial reward thanks to people committed enough to their ongoing success that they are willing to invest directly in it.