Given the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, Russian electoral and European austerity protests, TIME’s decision to award “The Protestor” as its Person of the Year Award is perfect timing.
What gave TIME’s announcement extra resonance was context. In the last twenty years, TIME claimed in its PR blitz, mass protest had given way to individual on-line activism. Large-scale effective street protests had become a “global oxymoron”. That all changed this year, went the PR pitch, when the “protester once again became a maker of history.”
While some may dispute the analysis, TIME’s context helped sell the story globally.
The PR Verdict: “A Plus” for TIME Magazine. Not only for its choice but its packaging.
A challenge in selling any story is to place it in a context that goes beyond the event itself. TIME positioned the return of the protestor in an historical context and moved the discussion beyond the now predictable conversation about the power of online networks to mobilize. Unifying seemingly unrelated protests under a contextual umbrella made sure this story got maximum air time. And by aligning itself with “history”, TIME emphasized its status as the magazine of record.
To see the Editor of TIME talk about the award click here.