Posted At: October 21, 2013 4:50 p.m.
by Susan Griffiths
A year ago, a Pakistani girl was the target of a Taliban assassination attempt. Today, she is a beacon of hope. Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai was riding a bus to school when a member of the Taliban boarded her bus and asked, “Who is Malala?” Walking to the only girl without a face covering, he placed a gun to her head and pulled the trigger.
She never had the chance to answer the assassin; however, a year later, she has become a leader of peace. After days of extensive surgery and multiple location changes, Malala woke up in a London hospital with full brain function and an even greater desire to change the world for the better.
Recently she met with President Barack Obama and gave her opinion on drone attacks. She is a best-selling author, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
Malala and her story are incredible. Her bravery and desire to change Middle Eastern ideologies are nothing short of revolutionary. But what does this inspiring story have to do with PR?
Soon after Malala woke up in a London hospital bed, Edelman announced it was handling her media needs pro bono. Edelman staff worked to help the family deal with the waves of media and public interest. Together, the group created a Malala brand: a brand of hope, advocacy and peace.
With only five team members on her account, Edelman has successfully managed her press (there is currently a weeklong waiting period for any interviews), her book coverage and her humanitarian efforts.
While her story is one to be remembered for decades, without the help of a dedicated PR team, it could easily lose its message. Many are unaware of Edelman’s work in this particular story. The agency did not boast about it or advertise it; its staff merely provided their services.
A professor once told me, “The best PR is silent PR.” The greatest thing a PR team can do is allow the client to speak for herself. Edelman did just that. Behind every great story, there is a dedicated PR team amplifying the message.