Media-jacking

sunrise.jpgMedia-jacking is when you subvert your opponent’s spectacle for your own purposes. Politicians, corporations and lobbyists have much bigger PR budgets and name-brand draw to attract press to their staged media events. Through well-planned creative interventions, however, you can refocus things and highlight a different side the story.

Subvert.

Sophisticated media-jacking uses your target’s own story against them, so try to aim for instances in which you are able to do this.

Take Over.

There are a fewdifferent ways to design a successful media-jacking. The first is simply commandeering the media. One of the most literal (and bold) examples of this occurred in 1991 during the first Gulf War, when the anti-AIDS organization ACT UP burst into a CBS TV studio during a live primetime news broadcast and took over the set, chanting “Fight AIDS, not Arabs.”

Re-purpose.

Another option is to use your opposition’s platform to tell your own story. In 2007, Kleenex ran an expensive PR stunt where they interviewed people on the street for a commercial they were making, getting participants to cry and say, “I need a Kleenex.” Greenpeace activists stealthily lined up to be interviewed, crying instead because Kleenex was clear-cutting old growth forests to make their tissues. They successfully shut down the shoot for the rest of the day, and a video of the action went viral.

Article adapted from Beautiful Trouble by Beautiful Trouble, various authors, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.