Conducting The PR Orchestra!


Conducting The PR Orchestra

My Baton, Please, For Our Next Number, Ukrainian Violinist ASSIA’s U.S. City Concert Tour Commencing Jan. 15 in Charlotte, NC

Thomas J. Madden, Chairman and CEO, Transmedia Group

I like to think of PR as music. Symphonic. Jazz.  Waltz.  Whatever.  Even hip-hop.  PR programs are all like musical arrangements.  When you conduct a successful orchestral PR campaign, you not only elate audiences, but make your clients happy . . . hopefully leave them shouting “encore.”

For events such as product introductions, charity galas, grand openings, I think of PR as musical accompaniment.

To a maestro like me, media pitches, posts and particularly news releases must strike the right chords.

Messaging occasionally has to hit high notes to get attention, to prompt actions and desirable results, from newspaper articles and TV appearances to blow-out social media . . . those verses that go viral.

Maybe I think like this because my dad was a concert violinist and an orchestra conductor.  I grew up with my mom having to drag me to his concerts on Garden Pier in Atlantic City, NJ.  Day after day I’d hear him rehearse, endlessly practicing his Mendelssohn and Brahms concerti.  “Shush, your father’s practicing,” my mom would tell me over and over. Only later did I come to appreciate what a great artist was my dad, Bill Madden.

Today I raise a different kind of baton.  I look at certain staff at my PR firm TransMedia as the woodwind section . . . those who play the oboes and flutes of Facebook.  Then I turn to the brass section, to my powerful Twitter trumpets and tympani.

When the music begins, I lead my orchestra to a campaign crescendo climaxing in those cymbal crashes of national media placements, those precious minutes on my old network’s pride and joy, The Today Show, then on to the Fox and Friends and the CNN’s of the world.  And on and on the music plays.

What’s great about PR music is that it can reach across cultural lines and even political divides, of which there are plenty these days.

PR played musically as I do can open closed minds, motivate actions, galvanize support for worthy causes and most importantly, increase sales.

It’s all music to your client’s ears!

And lately I have the honor and joy to conduct a publicity campaign for an upcoming multiple city concert tour by the outstanding Ukrainian violinist Assia Ahhatt!

Oh would my dad love to hear her play her violin, listen to her sing and see her dance.

This Ukrainian virtuoso’s only quid pro quo is that you come to her concerts and in return she’ll enchant you with an evening of her artistry.  So Assia and staff, let the music begin!

Don't Be DOA! What They Say About First Impressions Goes Double for News Releases - Tom MaddenAbout the Author: Madden is the founder and CEO of the public relations firm TransMedia Group.  Books he has written include SPIN MAN, King of the Condo, Is There Enough BRADY in TRUMP To Win The inSUPERable Bowl? and Love Boat 78.  His blog, Madden finds him “Looking at Truth through the prism of Absurd.” Madden started out as a newspaper reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, then rose to the pinnacle of network television as Vice President, Assistant to the Pressident of NBC under then CEO Fred Silverman, for whom Madden wrote speeches when they were both at American Broadcasting Companies. Madden recently launched Madden Talent, a licensed talent agency representing actors, artists and models. Corporate titans like the Chairmen of Kellogg’s Company and AT&T looked to Madden to do crisis management and write influential speeches for them that were reprinted in The New York Times. Madden won the Public Relations Society of America’s Bronze Anvil for a PR campaign he conducted for The City of New York. Rexall Sundown Founder Carl DeSantis credits Madden’s publicity for the firm’s spectacular success, culminating in DeSantis selling the company in 2000 for $1.6 billion.


  1. Mark Kallan on at 9:33 AM

    Great story and analogy!
    If only the audience would do its part as well…LISTEN TO THE MAESTRO!

    • Firoz Shroff on at 4:48 AM

      Sir you are Guru in the world of PR undoubtedly.