Sunday, May 15, 2011

Justin Bieber, Payton Wall & Obama vs Patrick & Sean Collins? - PR!

Last year, retired Lt. Col. Patrick Collins lost his son, Sgt. Sean Collins, on the battlefield in Afghanistan. Mr. Collins called the White House and asked if President Obama could call his ex-wife, Linda, to talk about their late son:
Collins was told [by the White House] that Obama did not regularly make phone calls to the families of fallen soldiers.

Later, Patrick Collins read a story about Obama’s phone call to Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie. Obama reportedly praised Lurie for giving quarterback Michael Vick a second chance to play football after serving time in prison for running a dog fighting ring.

“That burns,” Patrick Collins said Thursday.

“Any soldier that gets killed in action, you’d think the president would be calling someone in the family. There’s no politics in it. His predecessor did it.”
However, the President is receiving plenty of accolades for arranging a meeting between 14 year old Payton Wall [Hall?] and singer Justin Bieber.

From Green Celebrity:
Payton – whose father died when he was trapped in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York – first tweeted the ‘One Less Lonely Girl’ singer in February.
She wrote: “hey! I have an awful life story and without your music idk if i could have survived. do you think i could send you a letter? (sic)”

But when the New Jersey girl did not receive any response, she wrote a letter to President Obama and the White House promptly invited her to meet him at [a]Ground Zero [wreath laying ceremony] in New York City, where he told her he “knows Justin” and made the vow to arrange a meeting with her idol.

On the heels of President Obama having an increased approval rating for orchestrating the death of Osama Bin Laden, tying his name in the media with Justin Bieber and 9/11 is a smart elections 2012 [move] for certain.
President Barack Obama promised to pull some celebrity strings for one New York teen. Payton Hall, 14, who lost her father in the 9/11 attacks, took the opportunity of meeting Obama today to discuss her desire to meet teen pop sensation Justin Bieber.

“I wrote to Obama about how Justin Bieber inspired me to tell my story,” she told reporters.
"I just don't want it to seem like I only wrote the letter to meet Justin Bieber. I did it to honor my father," the NY Post quoted Payton as saying.

So, essentially, Payton Wall asked the President to arrange the meeting, and Obama, sensing a golden opportunity for a quick PR boost, fulfilled her request.

As it turns out, the President's decision to heed Payton Hall's plea did not emanate from any kind of altruistic feelings, but rather it was a typical, quintessential PR move on Obama's part.

However, unlike Payton Hall - who also received a warm bearhug from the President - an ostentatious gesture which was immediately flashed on television screens all across America - the Collins family never did receive the requested telephone call from Obama. Lacking both an official, well publicized meeting and national television coverage, there was no real PR benefit to be gleaned from placing a call to Mr. Collin's ex-wife to talk about their son. So why even bother? Obama is a busy man.

On the flip side, setting up a meeting between a popular singing icon and a 9/11 family member, well, that's just too good a PR move to pass up, especially now that the 2012 Presidential campaign has commenced.

Update: Upon observing the photos, and videos, of the wreath laying ceremony [at Ground Zero], you can't help but notice that Payton Hall and her family were the only ones - among all 9/11 family members - who merited standing at the forefront, near the President, as he laid the wreath. You can watch the video here. Obama approaches Payton Wall at about 1:47 into the video.

Clearly a PR stunt from the President, who used the venue to set up the Justin Bieber/Payton Wall meeting - a meeting which has elicited glowing accolades from the fawning, mainstream media, and one that is already paying big dividends for the politician par excellence.

No comments: