Pop Punk Public Relations, or Lack Thereof
Philadelphia-based pop-punk band Grayscale announced on April 25th that they would be touring with All Time Low, Gym Class Heroes, and Lauran Hibberd. This announcement caused the band to face immense backlash from fans and casual listeners of Grayscale due to some heavy allegations made against All Time Low.
In short and to keep it light, All Time Low are currently involved in investigations against their lead guitarist, Jack Barakat. While the allegations have not been proven true, there are such a large number of them that it would be hard to prove all of them false. A majority of the pop-punk fanbase, myself included, have ceased listening to All Time Low, as well as anyone who shows any support for the band. Grayscale has subsequently become the next band to be part of this.
After the announcement of the upcoming fall tour, devoted fans of Grayscale have decided to stop supporting them because of their apparent lack of care and love for assault and abuse victims. Being one of these devoted fans, I have been torn on whether to keep supporting them. I flew to the Midwest this past weekend to attend two of their shows at the House of Blues in Chicago and The Rave / Eagles Club in Milwaukee, and since I had booked the flight and bought concert tickets a month before the announcement was made, I went through with the plans and got on an airplane to go see my favorite band.
What tears me apart the most is the lack of public relations in regard to this situation. After Grayscale broadcasted that they would be touring with a band of potential criminals, there has not been one word out of any of their mouths about it, from either the band members’ personal accounts or the band’s account. Fans continue daily to comment on their social media to try and change their mind about the tour. Many believe that dropping off the tour and going on a headline tour of their own would not only make them more money but invite a load of their fans back into the fanbase.
In my opinion, a little bit more openness to hearing their fans’ thoughts and a show of genuine consideration would benefit Grayscale greatly. As someone with knowledge of public relations and knowledge of how pop-punk fanbases work, any kind of statement from the band would help the situation greatly, even if it is just something like, “We hear you, we will do better.” I believe that the lack of statements from the band makes it seem like they do not care about what their fans are saying in regard to the tour. It makes them come across as ignorant and insensitive, and the more silence they let their fans endure, the more fans they lose.
Implementing public relations and specifically designating someone to manage their crisis would absolutely help to save Grayscale’s image, reputation, and career.