What creative PR stunts caught your eye in the past week or so? My brief for this column is to find something in the news or social media that grabbed my attention which moved me enough to share it with you.
There has only been one event that has done that in this period, and that is what is happening in Israel and Gaza. It would be disingenuous of me to pretend otherwise.
Two of the things that, I believe, mark a person out to be a creative are empathy – the ability to understand and appreciate the emotions of others and the situations they find themselves in – and a desire to break the rules. And that is why there are no creative PR stunts I wish to share with you this week.
Whenever talking about creative work, or anything really, I don’t consider it my duty to tell anyone how to think or feel. I can only tell you how I think and feel.
Last night I managed just a couple of minutes of Channel Four News. The harrowing spectacle of a young boy and his father sobbing over the dust covered body of a little girl, a daughter and little sister, pulled dead from the rubble was too harrowing. It made me feel physically ill and left me in tears. I had to turn off the news, something I very rarely do.
There is a routine to writing this column. Firstly, I procrastinate. Then late on the eve of deadline, having finally put my daughter to bed, I pour myself a large scotch (and you need that large scotch after trying to get my daughter to go to bed), flip open the laptop and write in a single burst.
That was impossible last night. As a lifelong obsessive consumer of current affairs (one of my earliest words was the 1970s newsreader Kenneth Kendall, pronounced ‘Tenneth Tendall’), culture and events, the past 10 days or so has been to witness human suffering, grief, fear, loss and trauma on a scale beyond that has been too distressing to comprehend. Last night’s scenes were the tipping point.
How could I, in all good conscience, with my own young daughter sleeping contentedly and safely upstairs, then sit down and summon 600 words on PR stunts that I haven’t really seen, nor cared about then ask you to do the same?
Even as I write this, at my work desk, the image of that boy and father experiencing the brutal loss the little girl is still with me, as are other horrific scenes from Israel and Gaza. Yet, I must wrap up because in a few minutes because there is client business to attend to and normal business must resume. Christmas is coming! And in the words from Kurt Vonnegut’s apocalyptic war novel, Slaughterhouse 5, ‘So it goes’.
This week's PR Stunt Watch was written by Mark Perkins, executive creative director at creative comms agency Cow.
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