Iran Needs Breakthrough PR Campaign to Tel Its Side of the Story to West

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sherwood Ross, Public Relations Consultant

Iran is in dire need of a public relations campaign to change the negative image imposed on it by the western press.

A spokesperson for the Iranian side of the story concerning Iran's nuclear development program is never seen on American television; neither do stories elucidating that position appear in newspapers.

Teheran desperately needs a campaign to penetrate American and British television and print media, as these two countries are the fountainheads of misinformation.

Iran would have to spend some money to achieve this but the cost would be insignificant compared to the expense of the war American neocons would like to wage against Iran.

The purpose of this article is not to get into Iran's "side of the story"---except for a few key points---but to outline what it is Iran needs to do to tell its story.

Based on my half century of public relations activity, I'd like to suggest the following steps:

(1) Iran needs to have a prominent member of its administration address a National Press Club luncheon.

(2) The government of Iran needs to buy space in the 100 largest daily newspapers in the U.S. and their U.K. counterparts sufficient to run a 600-word article in each. The article should be written by a high Iranian official with the guidance of an Iranian journalist. I believe this approach is better than buying entire pages of a newspaper. In some key papers, the column space could be bought once a month, for greater frequency of exposure.

The article should, among other things, make the point that the U.S. gave away its hand when it attacked Iran in 1953---at a time when Iran had no nuclear program. It should make the point that the U.S. also did precisely that in Iraq---it attacked Iraq claiming it had a nuclear war capability when it had none. The article could show how control over Iraq's energy resources has changed since the Allied invasion, and which companies and countries profited. The article might also note that Iran has not invaded another country in centuries. Finally, it might mention how the canard of Iran wanting "to wipe Israel off the map" got started in The New York Times.

(3) Americans of Iranian descent need to go before civic groups (Elks, Rotarians, Kiwanis, etc.) and talk to their friends about Iran's record of peace.

(4) The government of Iran could purchase an hour of prime time on all U.S. and U.K. networks and tell its story to millions who have never heard it.

(5) The Iranian government could retain one or more U.S. public relations or advertising firms, or both, to get their ideas on how best to proceed.

Even if the overall investment costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, or several million, it is absolutely essential if Iran is to make the British and American public give Iran a fair hearing. The world has already seen how a one-sided campaign impacted Iraq. The Iranian people are entitled to a better fate.

*Sherwood Ross formerly wrote columns for UPI and Reuters and was News Director in the Sixties for the largest U.S. civil rights organization. He is a member of the National Press Club and has given many interviews on U.S. foreign policy to Press TV. He can be reached at:

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