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Mia Farrow Challenges 3,200 PR Professionals to ‘Do Something’ About Darfur

Mohammed Toum, Mia Farrow, Ira Newble 

As a mother of 14 children (10 of whom are adopted), Mia Farrow has devoted her life to humanitarian efforts, but she has never been as passionate about an issue as she is about the crisis in Darfur. 

Mia has been used her high profile as star to raise awareness of the ongoing genocide occurring in Darfur by the Janjaweed, a Sudanese government-backed militia who have executed a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing in Darfur.

As part of her crusade to end the genocide in Darfur and neighboring Chad, Farrow has pulled out all of the stops in a multi-pronged campaign.

In an interview with her before she spoke to 3,200 public relations practitioners at the 2007 PRSA International Conference, she passionately laid out her strategy.

Mia Farrow’s Integrated PR Campaign for Darfur

  • An Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal last year and numerous since
  • Speaking engagements
  • Speaking on college campuses
  • Participating in special events, including a recent appearance in Second Life and the carrying of the torch to symbolize the opportunity presented by pressuring China (see below)
  • Taking pictures and sharing them from her Website (see right sidebar)
  •  Keeping a blog, a “journal of the atrocities”, and contributing to others, such as the Huffington Post
  • Working with affinity groups and organizations

All of this is underpinned by what she calls her Website, built in a blog format, which includes 10 Things You Can Do Right Now.

Mia Farrow with Darfurian refugee at Olympic Dream for Darfur torch relay commencementShe is also leveraging an opportunity due to the fact that the 2008 Olympics are being held in Beijing. Mia sees China as the only hope for stopping the genocide since they are the main buyers of Sudanese oil and are largely believed to be supplying arms that are used by the Janjaweed.

She is calling for the sponsors of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, of which she has published a list with contact information, to use their unique position to put pressure on the Chinese government.

“There is one thing that China holds more dear than its unfettered access to oil and that is the Olympic games,” said Farrow.

Listen to Mia Farrow in her pre-conference interview with WebmasterRadio

Watch Mia Farrow at her appearance in Second Life

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By Kami Watson Huyse, APR, principal of My PR Pro, is an Ad Age “Power 150” blogger who writes about public relations and communications at Communication Overtones. She has an extensive background in crisis communication and reputation management, executing social media campaigns, focus group research and media relations. She has garnered coverage for her clients in media outlets such as the Washington Post, theWall Street Journal, the CBS’ “The Early Show” and the San Antonio Express News, among others.

5 Comments

  • Passionate indeed, Kami. I was really struck by her passion during this interview. Did you notice that her eyes teared up as she talked?

  • I think crusade is the right word. Her passion and her belief in her cause were so strong. There were many wet eyes in the audience as well.
    The one line that will stay with me is “with Knowledge comes responsibility”. Most of us are very influenced in that moment but dont take any action (responsibility), however small, once we get back to our lives.

  • Dan; You are right of course. I was trying to find a word that spoke to Mia’s apparent determination. I admired it.

    As for the PR firms involved, I also hope they are paying attention. Unfortunately, there are always those willing to step up and do things that the rest of us might consider unethical, and worse.

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