Ever since Taylor Swift embarked on The Eras Tour in March 2023, she’s mesmerized fans with her three-hour plus setlist and which “surprise songs” she’ll play at each show. That’s not the only reason people can’t stop talking about her lately – she’s boosting the economy per the Fed’s Beige Book as reported by Insider. There are the unattainable tickets and unexpected-but-interesting economic storylines too. Above all else though, Swift is releasing re-recorded versions of her first five albums, which makes now the perfect time to relive our favorite Taylor Swift eras.
Since I spent my summer interning at a communications agency, for all the Swiftie PR pros out there, I got you. I’ve considered each era and decided which industry they’d be in or what they would excel at if they were working PR professionals.
Before we get started, know that my credentials include:
So now I ask you, as a PR pro, which era are you in?
Debut (2006 – 2008)
Taylor Swift’s debut album, self-titled Taylor Swift, came with many impressive successes including Swift breaking the record for youngest artist in history to have written and performed a number one song on the Hot Country Songs chart. Believe it or not, much of this success was from Swift’s marketing tactic to promote Taylor Swift on her personal MySpace page. Not only did her activeness on social media help the album, it also connected her with a young audience that would continue to support her many albums, and genres, later.
This is why the debut era would be a social media communications pro.
Fearless (2008 – 2010)
To follow up a successful first album, the Fearless era was filled with record-breaking singles and many awards (including four Grammys). Swift’s presence on and off the stage during this era showed she was here to stay in the spotlight and not afraid to use her voice.
The confidence and outspokenness that fueled this era shows that if Fearless was a PR pro, it would shine as a company’s spokesperson.
Speak Now (2010 – 2012)
The Speak Now era was all about, quite literally, speaking now. The central theme of this album is not waiting to say what’s on your mind. In order to succeed in conveying your message to high-level decision makers in the government, you also need to speak clearly and intentionally.
This is why the Speak Now era would excel within the public affairs and government PR industry.
Red (2012 – 2014)
If there’s one thing the Red era showed, it was Swift’s versatility. From ballads like All Too Well to rock and roll vibes on I Knew You Were Trouble, this era showed Swift could convey any emotion within the time constraints of a song.
This is why, with the ability to write effectively and succinctly, the Red era would be an expert at writing press releases.
1989 (2014 – 2017)
The 1989 era marks Swift’s official genre shift to full on pop music. This possibly risky move proved to be a massive hit for Swift with praise from not only fans, but also the media. Along with glowing reviews for her new music, she was also getting positive coverage about her fight for artist’s rights on streaming platforms.
Therefore, the 1989 era as a PR pro would be an expert in media relations.
reputation (2017 – 2019)
During the reputation era, Swift was coming back from a scandal where the media and a lot of the public had painted her in a negative light. While there was a lot of talk online that this would be an unsuccessful time for Swift, she went on her reputation Stadium Tour which then became the highest grossing tour in history.
As the album title suggests, this era would be a pro in reputation management.
Lover (2019 – 2020)
The Lover era was cut short due to the Covid pandemic shutting down all of Swift’s tour plans. While music videos couldn’t be filmed and the stream of releasing singles was halted, Lover was taken out of the public eye, as much as it held a special, permanent place in the hearts and minds of fans. The Swiftie community’s adoration for Lover is evident even today as the song “Cruel Summer”, a non-single track on the album, has returned to the Billboard charts four years after it was released.
I think Swift’s fanbase would agree that the Lover era, despite the pandemic, continued strong showing how it would be a pro in community relations.
The folklore era was a surprise, not only in terms of its release, but also its sound. A non-autobiographical indie folk album was not something anyone expected from Swift, but ultimately it was extremely successful with wins like Album of the Year at the 2020 Grammy’s (making her the first woman to win the award three times). Swift captured the world’s attention with the surprise album release and was prepared to back it up with thoughtfully written explanations across her social media platforms about how this album was different and why you should listen to it.
To excel at media pitching, you must be able to capture the attention of a reporter and prove why they should be interested in what you have to say, which is something the folklore era would definitely be a pro at.
evermore (2020 – 2022)
The evermore era gave us a sister album to folklore and was filled with the same musical style and fictional storytelling. Swift had to call upon her collaborators from the folklore era and work together to recreate their indie folk magic and produce another album that was just as good.
This must’ve required a lot of coordination and communication throughout the whole team which shows how the evermore era would be a pro at internal communications.
The latest era, Midnights, pulled inspiration from all the eras that came before it with Swift referring to the album as stories of sleepless nights scattered throughout her life. This album also led up to her current tour, The Eras Tour, which called for a lot of planning, scheduling and perfect timing to switch between Midnights promotion, Eras Tour promotion and the re-recorded Speak Now album promotion.
Balancing all these moving parts shows how the Midnights era would be a pro in integrated strategic communications.
I hope you were enchanted by my takes on Taylor Swift eras as PR professionals. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d get the opportunity to write about my two favorite things! While there may not be that many similarities between Taylor Swift and the PR industry, I can confidently say that neither will go out of style. (Get it?)