Today’s guest post comes to you from my dear colleague Shakirah Dawud, a highly prolific writer I admire greatly for her style, creativity, features (in writing), and genuine interest in provoking thought. She writes for Deliberate Ink, and you can connect with her here and here.
Shakirah Dawud Says:
This article was going to be much different than it is. I was going to name a campaign whose unscrupulosity (yes, I made the word up) totally blew my mind, the reasons it did, and raise your hackles about it as much as I could, too.
But I stopped because I wondered (as I often do about these things), when does pointing and yelling raise awareness, and when does it become the business’s use of my ire to play made-you-look?
Businesses and other public entities love publicity. They like getting in the news because people pay attention to them. Most of them prefer positive attention, but a few don’t mind negative attention one bit.
I have to make a decision: do I spread their news for them or do what I can to avoid giving them the clicks they’re seeking? More often than not, I choose the latter. If I see a need to mention it publicly, I usually limit it to an indirect reference. I don’t imagine it has much effect on the world at large, but it’s always been my policy to ignore people who do outrageous things only to get attention. I wonder if I’m alone.
My respect goes to people who speak up loudly when something untoward happens according to public record. These people’s perspectives are bold, well reasoned, and well written as often as they are coarse emotional rants. I’ve read and written both types with gusto. But how much awareness is raised in these cases? By the time I’ve found out about a controversial issue or event involving a business or public figure, it’s usually already a trending topic.
But my gratitude goes to people who research and provide information about the things happening right under our noses that most of us haven’t noticed–the patterns of activity, observations of interactions, and statistical trends that, as it has been famously said–“they” don’t want us to know. That’s more than adding a voice to the crowd of tsk-tskers.
As a PR professional, Jayme is an awareness raiser. I want to know–from her and from you–where the line is.
Is it futile to keep your silence on an issue you feel strongly about but refuse to provide free publicity for?
How would you raise awareness if you decide you should?
What factors do you look at when deciding to give someone or something a spotlight for your crowd to gasp and point at?
And since I have your ear, what do you think of the short-lived “Unhate” campaign?
Shakirah Dawud is the writer and editor behind Deliberate Ink. Based in Maryland with roots in New York, she’s been crafting effective marketing copy as a writer and polishing many forms of prose as an editor since 2002. Clients in many fun sizes, industries, and locations reach her through the Web.