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As a public relations gal, I often pitch content for magazine nationwide. I’ve even been known to write an article or two. And certainly, I’ve sent my opinion to several magazines via interactive polls and through social media.

But, is Rolling Stones Magazine’s most recent publicity stunt – having people like you and me choose the next cover of Rolling Stone from a list of unsigned bands – going a bit far?

I regard many magazines as experts – certainly more knowledgeable than me. I also regard the cover of Rolling Stone as an honor one gets through hard work and success (or controversy) in the world of pop culture.

So, is letting a gal like me – who often prefers Glee’s version of songs to the original “artists” who sang them (I am talking to you, Bob Dylan) – pick a Rolling Stone cover turning a media institution into just another reality show in our already reality-soaked lives?

My two cents – if I was voting on people who’ve accomplished something in the field and been snubbed, I think I’d do a great job. Choosing unsigned folks to be on a cover? A little too American Idol for Rolling Stone, even if Stephen Tyler was the judge…

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio


  1. Peter Faur says:

    I never like trivializing what we do for a living, which is what happens when a company holds an employee naming or logo contest for a new product or program. Names and logos, like magazine covers, are important, and I think we reinforce the notion that “anybody can do this” when we let just anybody do it.

    I see this a little differently, however. People are only indirectly picking the cover of Rolling Stone. They’re really voting for the unsigned band they like best, and then the winner will be featured on the cover. People vote all the time … usually with their dollars … and bands that collect a lot of dollars get featured on the cover of Rolling Stone. Not a problem, in my opinion.

  2. Rachel V. says:

    As someone who considers themselves a huge music lover, especially of indie bands, I think this is a genius idea, especially with the Bonnaroo sweepstakes component.

    1)It drives website traffic and helps create value for its online advertisers
    2)The concept and the Bonnaroo co-branding helps remind consumers that Rolling Stone has always been about intertwining major headliners and upandcomers within the pages of its magazine, just as Bonnaroo does over three days.
    3)Crowdsourcing over something subjective like music is a win-win.
    4)I know these acts aren’t “mainstream” and I think that is the point. Rolling Stone used to tell us who was the next big thing and you earned a cover spot because your music was worthy, not because you were a megamillionaire.
    5) It’s positioning Rolling Stone as a must-read, and a leader instead of a follower.
    6)If you voted in this, you’re more likely going to pick up this issue, and pass it on, and subscribe…etc. because now you are invested
    7)One less Justin Bieber cover is a win-win for everyone!

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