|November 20, 2007|
|A 'Hunger Initiative' Would Help PR Restore its Reputation|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Public Relations has a shot at redemption. The reputation of PR was severely tarnished by its role in selling the shameful invasion of Iraq and continued occupation of that country. |
The profession can begin its rebound from that “hit” by launching a “Hunger Initiative” geared to promoting the need to end widespread hunger in the U.S.
The Dept. of Agriculture reported Nov. 14 that more than 35M Americans went hungry in 2006. That amount included 12.6M children. Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas and South Carolina are the states with the highest percentage of people hungry.
Jim Weil of the Food Research and Action Center believes the number of hungry Americans rose this year. He bases that prediction on increased economic pressures on the poor due to rising energy/food prices combined with stagnate or falling wages.
The plight of the hungry however is off the domestic radar screen of most Americans. The U.S. Government spent $60M on food programs in `06.
That amount hardly registers when compared to the money earmarked for the Iraq sinkhole. President Bush has asked Congress for another $196B for Iraq. Democrats in Congress—showing some spine in time for the Thanksgiving break—say they are willing to kick in only $50B.
Meanwhile, 12.7M U.S. households remain “food insecure.” Their voices are unheard. [Help for the 47M Americans without health insurance is a future blog.]
This blogger admits that he does not know whether more federal dollars are needed to fight hunger, but Kate Houston of the USDA says her agency can’t say that everyone eligible for existing programs is participating. That is where PR comes in. At the very least, a communications program could tell people about existing programs.
A Hunger Initiative would be a terrific morale boost for a PR firm and its staff. A hunger-fighting campaign would show PR as a force for good. It would top any industry-sponsored self-serving “PR for PR” effort, something this blogger has heard talked about since he started paying attention to the business in 1989.
How about it? Who will take up the ball for America’s hungry? A Hunger Initiative launch would be the best Christmas present for the PR business.
Return to Latest News