What does $30,000 dollars plus expenses buy you?
Maen Rashid Areikat of the General Delegation of the PLO has contracted with the Washington DC Public Relations firm of Bell Pottinger USA to make the Palestinians more palatable to the American Public. Bell Pottinger has since registered as a foreign agent with the Department of Justice
From their website:
"Bell Pottinger USA is a full-service, multi-disciplinary public relations, government affairs and marketing services agency. We specialize in the protection and management of reputations for blue chip companies, trade bodies, governments and influential people across the globe, giving them the influence and solutions they need to achieve their political objectives, and help them engage with stakeholders and the media, particularly in times of crisis"
For a monthly fee of $30,000 and reimbursement of pre-approved expenses, Bell Pottinger will manage all aspects of social and mass Media, and Congressional and political relations for the Palestinians.
Bell Pottingers responsibilities, from their contract:
• Strategic Communications Advice: constructing a clear and well-defined communications strategy, advising how and when to best communicate with key stakeholders, and ensuring that all PR activities we undertake, work towards achieving your communications objectives.
• Message Development: drafting and continually refining messages that tell the story of Palestine, your challenges and your objectives in a way that is concise, compelling, and effective.
• Congressional Affairs: helping you to communicate with key political stakeholders.
• Media Relations: helping you to communicate with influential journalists.
• Social Media: conveying Palestine's image through the Internet and actively managing your online presence to ensure that key stakeholders receive your messages and information.
• Grassroots Mobilization: leveraging the influence of Palestinian families and organizations that have been affected by conflict and desire a resolution.
The Palestinians are seeking to re-brand themselves, to market and sell themselves to the American public. After all they're not just suicide bombers anymore. There is a rich and varied Palestinian culture that involves, hmmm, um, well, I'm sure Bell Pottinger will tell us, eventually.
Its an interesting use of billions of dollars in humanitarian aid funding sent to the Palestinian territories.
What can we expect for $30,000 a month? More youtubes portraying the victimhood of the Palestinian people? Paid tweeters attempting to get Palestine on the all important trending list? Tour Palestine commercials during the Super Bowl?
We'll find out soon enough