'Melding news with drama, politics with theatre'

The Globe had an interesting weekend piece on “Five reasons why gun control has been disarmed” on the weekend.
Anyone interested in building public/popular support around issues should take a lok.
I was struck by a section on the gun lobby’s response after “a string of catastrophic school shootings” before the U.S. elections in 2000.

“So they called in the pros.
The NRA hired the Mercury Group, a high-powered consulting company that describes itself on its website as ‘masters at melding news with drama, politics with theatre, and public affairs with popular buzz to make your message sing and your story sell.’
Their client list includes the Navajo Nation, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, and the Air Force Memorial Foundation.
Mercury Group worked with the NRA to identify key states to target with their new campaign: ‘Vote Freedom First.’
The campaign featured radio and television ads, billboards, bumper stickers and ‘other collateral materials.’ Huge ‘Freedom First’ rallies were organized in dozens of cities in swing states leading up to election day.
Afterward, the NRA and Mercury Group declared victory, citing an 85 per cent success rate in state and local elections of sympathetic candidates, a pro-NRA majority seated in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, and ‘a pro-NRA President in the White House.’”

The Mercury Group’s description of their role is useful for anyone who is thinking about how to influence opinion (or is the target of such efforts).

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