WASHINGTON: The Second Chance on Shoot First, a coalition committed to raising awareness about what it calls unsafe gun laws, is working with FitzGibbon Media to challenge Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law.
The organization is also supporting the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation, which was started by Martin's parents, said Christopher Brown, communications director for the coalition. FitzGibbon has promoted viral videos for the family and drawn attention to rallies and other public events it is attending. Martin's family is seeking a legislative amendment that would ban people from citing Stand Your Ground laws if they start a confrontation or argument that turns violent.
Ryan Julison, president of Julison Communications, has also stepped away from providing PR support to the Martin family. Attorneys for the Martin family hired him on a pro bono basis shortly after Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman in Sanford, FL, in February, sparking national discussions about race and gun laws.
Julison told PRWeek that he wished the family the best, but he had to shift his attention back to his clients.
“It became bigger than any of us could have imagined,” he said.
Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said his clients have not formally replaced Julison, though others have stepped in on a case-by-case basis.
The city of Sanford has also changed its PR representation. It recently hired Stephenson & Associates, a marketing firm, to launch an image rehab campaign for the city. Sanford had worked with Massey Communications, which provided crisis PR support after Martin's death.
“Many government entities abide by guidelines where they are obligated to work with the lowest bidder,” said Susan Vernon-Devlin, director of PR at Massey Communications. “Our agency was not that bidder in this instance.”