As the international community begins to come to terms with the
implications of the terrible events of 11 September, some no doubt feel
that talk of PR is inappropriate. The most visible evidence of this
sentiment being the decision by many leading advertisers to pull or
modify campaigns, as well as the postponement of a number of events and
This is only right and proper. But beyond the arena of marketing
communications, it cannot be denied that in 21st century warfare, even a
campaign as unconventional as that now being planned, communications
will be vital.
But while this may be a war unlike any other, one aspect of any conflict
can be certain - that the battle will be fought not only in the
inaccessible terrain of Afghanistan but also in the media,
internationally and on home territory.
Rarely has it been so crucial for the constituent parties of the
anti-terrorist alliance, whether that be governments, the military or
security services, to carry with them popular support for their backing
of military action and stringent new internal security measures - at
both a national and regional level. And to create some reassurance for
the man on the street (not least the domestic Muslim population) faced
with an unprecedented level of media coverage of unfolding events. While
this may not marry with the common perception of PR, in reality this is
public relations in its most literal sense.