Regardless of your opinions for or against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” outcome, one fact stands out insofar as PR pros are concerned: the result is an end product of decades of public relations activism by media influentials.
By any measure, it ranks as the top PR success story of the year – a campaign waged in part through the press by in-house advocates.
Papers in almost every city have been enormously generous with space devoted to staff-generated stories on the theme, so much so that it has often seemed to be pursued at the expense of other news.
The message here is that the gays, inside and outside the media, have pursued a PR agenda that has culminated with the passage of legislation despite vigorous opposition on most fronts.
The secondary message: if that kind of PR pressure could have been applied to medical causes to win support for major campaigns against cancer, obesity, heart and circulatory conditions, and the like, some illnesses might have been cured by now.
Similarly, if the same effort had been devoted to exposing key truths about the two wars being conducted by the U.S., the pullouts of troops would almost certainly has been expedited by now.
Wes Pedersen is a retired Foreign Service Officer and principal at Wes Pedersen Communications and Public Relations Washington, D.C.