Old-Time PR People Don’t Get It


 I’m amused by the reaction of the Komen PR people to the shitstorm they created. Repeatedly, they accused Planned Parenthood of “coordinating” the attacks, of having an “organization of allies” that “swung into action” when PP called. One angry Komen commenter accused PP of using “thug tactics.”

Obviously, they don’t get it. Planned Parenthood didn’t do anything except state what had happened. The rest was the response of individuals once they got the message. The speed with which the message got out, and the swiftness of the response, had nothing to do with PP, and everything to do with today’s multi-faceted, multi-connected communications world. It’s the intertubes, people.

Why do they think it’s called “going viral”? The spread of a virus isn’t controlled; if the conditions are right, it spreads on its own, and rapidly. Komen did something with no nuance that could easily be tweeted — “Komen cuts Planned Parenthood funding” — then was amazed when it spread around the world in a day.

Let’s say it again: Planned Parenthood didn’t have to do anything. People responded out of their own sense of right and wrong, and out of their own sense of what Komen’s purpose was supposed to be. All PP had to do was sit back and let their friends — and social media — do the work.