Saturday, October 8, 2011
Public Relations Firm Workhouse Behind Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street protesters picked up by public relations firm Workhouse pro-bono
Monday, October 3rd 2011
The revolution will be publicized.
The Occupy Wall Street movement got a pro-bono boost last week from a not-so-underground source: a Manhattan public relations firm.
The largely anonymous protesters who've clogged Zucotti Park near the World Trade Center for the last two weeks—and who, on Saturday swarmed the Brooklyn Bridge—received what sources tell us was an unsolicited email blast from empathetic members of Workhouse Publicity.
The Chelsea-based PR firm—which, according to its website has worked with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Interview magazine, filmmaker Tim Burton, Bergdorf Goodmanand Saks Fifth Avenue—sent out the mesage, titled "Occupy Wall Street: News from the Front" to a number of media outlets, socialites and celebrities on Wednesday.
The message linked to a Facebook photo gallery that depicted black-and-white images of demonstrators and their protest signs.
The pictures were posted by Workhouse CEO Adam Nelson, and though the company initially declined to comment on the email, it later issued a statement: "We have no agenda and our service in this regard is simple: Publicize the message as the march continues."
The email blast sent by Workhouse also included the tag line, The Revolution Will Not Be Editorialized." which Nelson says is a reference to the protesters' frustration with the lack of press coverage during the early days of their lower Manhattan siege.
Nelson says he and several other employees, went down to document the protest last week and to "help out some friends."
He stressed, however, that the Occupy Wall Street organizers "didn't hire a publicity firm to spread their message."
Although Workhouse's association with the protest might seem at odds with the goals of high-end retailers and brands that have worked with the PR firm, Nelson says he "never even thought twice about sending out the email."
The Occupy Wall Street protesters have been criticized for lacking a unified message, but Nelson says the overriding theme of the movement, is "dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs."
After a slow start, media interest in Occupy Wall Street has grown, and Nelson says the protesters can count on continued support from Workhouse.
He tells us he plans to continue to document the protest with"no intention of using it to increase or, by association, decrease my business."
Were he alive, Abbie Hoffman would probably approve. In his 1971 rebellions manual, "Steal This Book," the Yippie founder reportedly included a chapter about the importance of getting cheap media attention.