In a recent blog, I noted that Orlando needs to be prepared for the international stage being thrust upon it. Stage right: Casey Anthony’s trial. Stage left (pun intended): activist organizations looking for a literal platform. As founder of CBR Public Relations 27 years ago this month, I think back on all the stages that our clients have shared with others’ agendas – and few by choice. I’ve learned that the bigger the brand, the bigger the opportunity presented for others to capitalize on the brand or a world-famous trial. Casey Anthony, unfortunately, has become both.
Activists rely on few dollars and relatively few staff to grab the world’s attention. These limitations require that they take advantage of opportunities presented by other larger organizations. Fast food companies pay millions to promote their brands, yet armed with limited dollars and staff resources, activists hoist themselves on the brands’ notoriety to the benefit of their own causes. Hard-earned company brands have been recently leveraged to call attention to everything from the price of tomatoes to transgender discrimination.
What does that have to do with Casey Anthony? With 500+ reporters, editors, columnists and videographers in town – and all parked within a few feet of one another – what better stage to stand on and shout a message? What bigger brand to capitalize upon? Orange County has provided a venue for key messaging for cause organizations, such as a recent local homeless issue that undeservedly received national media attention. My experienced gut is that this is just the beginning.
On a positive note, the Anthony trial is shining a spotlight on the need to conquer domestic violence, which in this case involved a mother’s alleged murder of her own daughter. The stage set to solve this societal secret and will hopefully spur thoughtful discussions and long overdue funding.
Ending domestic violence — Now that’s a stage Orlando will gladly share.
Lori C. Booker, APR, is founder and CEO of CBR and is a respected media commentator.
William Shakespeare: “All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players….”