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Israel also needs to make its own case, because that case is not being made widely, often, or clearly enough. The advice I have for Israel stands for any organization or group with an “underdog” status or that is suffering the consequences of being misunderstood. The following points are useful for any brand or business:
Make your own case. Be proactive and passionate in educational PR efforts. In Israel’s case, for instance, there should be a concerted PR effort to continually refute “moral equivalency” myths that are perpetuated in many corners of the press. It shouldn’t be saved only for a crisis.
Argue on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Harmful framing by the media or others can be handled effectively only with counterframing—presenting your narrative without debating the negative frame (thereby giving it credibility) or trying to justify yourself against it. Israel needs to talk about how it made the desert bloom.” From its founding in 1948, it transformed a land that is 65 percent desert into a country rich in diversity and teeming with technology—Intel, Microsoft, and IBM have all developed robust, profitable, and innovative businesses in the country.
Consistent and united PR. There is nothing more counterproductive and irritating to a spokesperson than having to compete with a colleague who is operating with a different message. This is the case with Israel—spokespeople for the state often speak at cross-purposes with the press and contradict each other.
Act with rapidity. Israel is agile and dynamic. It can use this to its advantage. In PR terms, Israel can change key messages quickly and deftly when necessary. The ability to respond quickly has many benefits.
Use social media frequently. Social media shouldn’t be used only as an emergency channel or to impart pearls of wisdom a few times a year. Social media should be used on a daily basis, and in a positive way. In the long run, it is the daily actions of a brand that determine its overall image.
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