PR trade publication O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports: "The Arab Intellectual Foundation plans a $2 million media drive to counter what it feels are the 'negative images' of Arabs and Islam that are presented in the Western press in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks." Saudi Prince Khalid Al-Faisal is the president of AIF. Arab businessmen have been asked to contribute money to the campaign which will "promote the Arab perspective on the war on terror."
Race / Ethnic Issues
Sahara Communications, a public relations firm hired to promote historically black Morgan State University, is under fire for telling students not to show up for a TV commercial with dreadlocks, head wraps, corn rows or braids.
A New Jersey Sikh group has hired MWW Group to launch a national PR campaign to educate Americans about the religion that was founded in India more than 500 years ago. There has been at least one hate-based killing of a Sikh and many other reported hate crimes against Sikhs in the aftermath of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. There are 400,000 Sikhs living in North America.
Following Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, U.S. television has repeatedly broadcast footage that shows Palestinians celebrating. The Electronic Intifida, which supports the Palestinian uprising in Israel, says this coverage is misleading. "The overwhelming number of Palestinians, like people of all nationalities, were sickened by the events in New York and Washington," it states. "Palestinians with relatives in New York and Washington spent much of yesterday worriedly trying to phone to check they were safe, exactly as many Americans did.
"Since the onset of unrestrained Arab violence almost one year ago, no expression has been heard more often than the word, 'hasbara' (explaining Israel's position, or positive public relations)," says pro-Israel media advocate Michael Friedson. Friedson says Israel's spokespersons should stop feeling "compelled to begin briefings with apologies ... for loss of life and property" and should "seize the rage. ...
American coverage of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has almost always been sympathetic to Israel. For most U.S. news organizations, "objective" has long meant "pro-Israeli." This report in TomPaine.com details some of the behind-the-scenes PR aimed at keeping things that way. In the words of one Israeli official, "Engaging in a successful PR campaign is part of winning the conflict."