PR pros in a Washington agency were volunteering to help AIDS- and HIV-related causes such as a campaign to promote condom use.
And around the globe, PR was applying its talents Thursday to raise awareness for World Aids Day in an attempt to halt the spread of a virus that affects 33 million people worldwide.
It is not, of course, the first time the forces of PR have gone into battle on behalf of worthwhile causes. Public relations efforts fighting the AIDS pandemic are in keeping with the pro bono work done throughout the profession’s history, says Arthur Yann, vice president of public relations with the Public Relations Society of America.
PR firms regularly provide pro bono services for institutions that needed assistance but can’t afford it, he says. Their work has prevented consumer injury and illness and advanced worthy causes.
PR’s unrecognized fight for good causes
“It’s unfortunate that this aspect of our profession goes so unrecognized,” Yann says, “but the fact is that public relations has changed attitudes and behaviors toward some of the world’s most pressing social issues, from breast cancer awareness to drinking and driving to smoking and obesity.”