Some random observations on Israel and the media from a public relations professional:
- During Israel’s recent “Pillar of Defense” operation there were a number of articles published that highlighted Israeli public relations efforts – and I think too many. Just as in wartime there are certain operational matters that are better left unpublished, as CEO of 5WPR I can confirm that there are public relations related initiatives that should be conducted quietly and not spoken about. Why make the other side aware of your every move? Now, don’t get me wrong , Israel did many things right. The Jewish state understands that many so-called mainstream media outlets are biased and therefore maximized use of social media outlets as has never been done before. Students from IDC even translated Israeli materials into 23 different languages for sharing socially, and for major outlets worldwide. But there’s no reason to give the game away, and I think Israeli operatives talked a bit too much.
- The Jews are lucky to have News Corporation – the parent company of Fox News, The New York Post and other outlets. Undoubtedly they are the most pro-Jewish and Israel friendly media outlets in the country. Unfortunately, while Jewish organizations are quick to condemn those that harm the Jewish people in the media, they aren’t quick enough to thank their friends. Not one Jewish organization thanked Rupert Murdoch the Chairman of News Corp for his recent supportive tweets: “Middle East ready to boil over any day. Israel position precarious. Meanwhile watch CNN and AP bias to point of embarrassment,” and “Why Is Jewish owned press so consistently anti Israel in every crisis?”
- There is still so much damage from Hurricane Sandy that has yet to be fixed in New York City, and many elements of the impact haven’t attracted a lot of media attention. As a board member of the Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE), a major Jewish educational organization, we are dealing with the fact that our center, which doubles as the largest synagogue in Brighton Beach was destroyed. Our board is working to raise funds for rebuilding – but it’s all private money and we have no government support or FEMA funds as one would think a synagogue might have. We successfully raised $50,000 from generous billionaire philanthropist Stewart Rahr, but there is much more to be done, and the task is daunting. Media coverage fades but for so many, the effects of Hurricane Sandy remain.