Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A new use of PR?

The sad story of Madeleine McCann, the little girl feared to have been abducted from a holiday apartment in Portugal, caught my attention.
The tragic story hits home because I have two little girls and Kate McCann’s public plea for her daughter’s safe return is something that makes all parents shudder. But as a PR professional, it is the race by seemingly average individuals, for public option that interests me.
Is it desperate or strategic?

It is not new for police and parents of missing children to use media to help with their search. We are also used to celebrities trying to sway public perception flanked by a team of image consultants.

What I found fascinating was a For Immediate Release podcast that discussed the McCann’s retention of a PR agency, media relations agency and advertising agency to manage their reputation in addition to helping find their child.

The idea of the general public (as opposed to businesses and notable figures) using professional media specialists, message developers and consultants to sway public opinion prior to the start of possible trial is thought provoking to say the least. I’m not sure, however, if it makes me proud or embarrassed of my chosen profession.

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