It has barely made any International news, but three Muslims were killed this week by police in street protests against a government ruled by a minority sect. Because it was Muslims killed by Muslims in Bahrain (and not Israel), it didn’t make worldwide media.
In Bahrain, there is mass torture of citizens, police fired tear gas from close range directly at anti-government peaceful protestors – and at least 60 people have been killed by government security forces.
Similarly, it is interesting to note that in any dictatorship, a small group of powerful, politically connected players thrive – and so too in the Public Relations world there’s a small group of PR firms who work with dictators and make millions from these relationships.
And while the government of Bahrain has spent $32 million on PR firms in the last few years, a prominent journalist, Anwar Abdulrahman recently wrote in Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News that the firms hired by Bahrain have been wasted. As Abdulrahman stated: “The kingdom has followed the well-worn path of employing as its defenders-in-chief, a clutch of agencies that have been paid to represent it in the international media arena. Unfortunately, this strategy has been widely acclaimed as a failure not just by citizens of Bahrain but also by the international media.”
The firms who have worked in Bahrain include worldwide leaders in the PR industry including Qorvis Communications and Bell Pottinger. Alongside them has been G3, a strategic advisory PR agency which was hired to develop a “media campaign to support Bahrain’s position in the international community” – for which they got paid $2.370 Million dollars to speak out publicly on Bahrain issues.
While protestors are rushed to the morgue and the hospital, certain companies are running to the bank with millions in blood money.