by Sarah Emery
Although birthdays are an exciting time of year for anyone, sharing a birthday with John Lennon (who would have turned 74 on October 9th) just makes my special day even more unique.
How did this young man and his fellow Beatles band members become some of the most iconic names in musical history? Although they had incredible talent and charisma, even Lennon himself credited their success in a 1960s interview to the fact they “had a press agent”.
The man behind much of the early success of The Beatles, Tony Barrow, started his career writing a slightly risqué alternative to his school’s newspaper. When hired, Barrow started with the mindset of promoting The Beatles with the regional press. He knew he could gain support for this new band from Liverpool organizations. Barrow soon began to branch out in his PR work, including ghostwriting articles and creating special Christmas records, helping The Beatles achieve more and more fame.
His job couldn’t have been easy. Take a look at some of the pictures and the comments that he constantly had to deal with.
What can students take away from the rarely told story of the PR mastermind behind The Beatles? Although even he admits that a lot of his good fortune came from being in the right place at the right time, it’s important to point out how he took advantage of his connections in his own community. Rather than taking the boys straight to London, Barrow garnered support from their hometown of Liverpool.
Obviously, Barrow is an incredibly successful agent who utilized every opportunity he had to promote his clients. How can we do this in our own work, especially with the Internet right at our fingertips? How can we emulate Barrow and start small, to hopefully make it even bigger than anyone could’ve imagined?