PR Firm Lends Support to Wall Street Protesters

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(Courtesy of Ragan’s PR Daily)

As the Occupy Wall Street protest picks up steam heading into its third week, the movement gained an unlikely ally—a Manhattan PR shop with a roster of corporate clients.

The Gatecrasher column in the New York Daily News reports that Workhouse Publicity “sent out the message, titled ‘Occupy Wall Street: News from the Front,’ to a number of media outlets, socialites and celebrities on Wednesday.”

The email, which include the tagline, “The revolution will not be editorialized,” a reference to what some see as a lack of coverage about the protests, included a link to a Facebook gallery of photos of demonstrators, reports the Daily News.

Workhouse CEO Adam Nelson stressed that the effort was unsolicited and pro bono.

The firm released a statement about the email blast, in which it said: “We have no agenda and our service in this regard is simple: Publicize the message as the march continues.”

Workhouse’s clientele includes Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Interview magazine, filmmaker Tim Burton, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue, according to its website.

On Saturday, more than 700 protesters were arrested for blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge. The protesters claim that members of the New York Police Department tricked them into entering the roadway. The arrests led to “prime-time” coverage of the demonstrations, which have now spread to other U.S. cities.

Occupy Wall Street has faced criticism for its lack of a clear mission. (“What do we want? Something! When do we want it? Whenever we get it!”) But Nelson told the Daily News that the prominent theme among the protestors is “dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs.”

Sound like another movement that began in earnest not long ago? Maybe with a group of protestors wearing tri-cornered hats? The Running Scared blog on The Village Voice website mentions the similarities between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party, and highlights the conservative blogosphere’s criticism of the protests.

Of course, the Tea Party had a laser-sharp focus at its onset—taxes!—something that sparks a visceral reaction among nearly all Americans. Perhaps a PR firm, like that of Workhouse, can help the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators harness their dissatisfaction into a clear call to action and shake their burgeoning image as that of hippies and liberal ne’er-do-wells.

Thing is the organization that helped inspire the protests—Adbusters magazine—has a decidedly anti-PR bent. We reached out to Adbusters this morning asking what it thinks of Workhouse’s pro bono support? We’ll update you when we hear back.


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