Was Occupy Wall Street a PR Failure?

While there is no doubt that the Occupy Wall Street movement created a huge worldwide buzz with tonnes of media attention, it was very short lived.  Those who were engaged with the Occupy movement became emphatically engaged.  While it was happening, there didn’t seem to be any middle ground.  People were either all in (either for or against), or didn’t know anything about it.  There didn’t seem to be a whole lot of neutral thought on the issues.  The slogan they decided on: “We are the 99%”, was very persuasive and concise and really served to deliver their message in a real and meaningful way.  On the surface, it seems as if the movement had everything going for it.  So why did it fizzle?

Ultimately, for any type of social cause, there needs to be a very detailed plan in place to ensure the efficient organization and execution.  Very similar to any other public relations plan, the RACE formula must be followed.  For an organized event such as Occupy Wall Street, the fundamentals of event planning must be considered and executed meticulously.  Any experienced event planner will tell you that there must be somebody in charge.  Someone who has his or her fingers in all the pies and is able to make decisions and modifications on the spot.  Someone to trouble shoot.  Someone to lead.

This is why Occupy Wall Street failed.  They operated under a communal decision making process which slowed their progress and diluted their message.  There was nobody to lead the initiative.  Because of this, it became more of a “hippy vs police” game of tug-of-war, as opposed to the powerful socio-political statement it was originally intended to be.

In order to re-gain that lost ground, someone needs to step up to become the voice of the movement.   Occupy Wall Street must develop consistent and strong key messages and tactics that will make their objectives clear.  Camping in a public park and carrying signs with a hand-written slogan is not going to cut it any longer.  They need strong messaging with a clear call to action.  That is the only way they will be able to get public support again and actually implement political change.

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