Marijane Funess December 15, 2015 | 09:43:34

5 Feel-Good PR Stories Of 2015

Sometimes a hectic NYC PR agency team needs to take a minute to appreciate some simple good-news stories. By and large these weren’t generated by a strategic PR team with a business goal in mind; rather, they garnered attention because they’re heartwarming and offer some good news in a crazy world. But there are some PR lessons here.

Teen Creates Clock, Gets Arrested?  Remember the story of Muslim teen Ahmed Mohamed, who built a clock, shared it with his teachers and was then arrested on suspicion of building a bomb? While it began as a sad statement on our times, the PR pile-on resulted in a visit to the White House, an invitation to Facebook, and most importantly, a chance for a positive outpouring on social media and change in conversation.

Mark Zuckerberg and Wife Donate Millions to Charity. This story, coinciding with the birth of the Zuckerbergs’ first child, was especially well-received when juxtaposed against the (at the time) impending birth of another ‘billionaire’ baby, Kim and Kanye’s second child. The writers who got this right, pointed out that while Kim pondered what crazy-expensive “push present” she deserved, Priscilla Chan was all about the opportunity to give to those less fortunate. A nice contrast.

Social Media Helped Cancer Victim See Star Wars Before Theater Release.  We love stories where the power of social media is used for good! In this case, a terminal cancer patient and hardcore “Star Wars” fan hoped to see “The Force Awakens” when it opened.  Daniel Fleetwood’s wife and friends appealed to Lucasfilm on Facebook with the hashtag – #‎forcefordaniel‬ and the shoutouts reached the right places. Five days after Disney and Lucasfilm fulfilled his dying wish to see “The Force Awakens”, lifelong fan Daniel Fleetwood succumbed to cancer.

The City Of San Francisco Provides Homeless With Priceless Gift.  Like so many large cities, San Francisco has a large homeless population faced with many indignities that the city can’t properly address. A simple idea has solved at least one of those problems and garnered a great city some great PR at the same time. A local non-profit called Lava Mae transformed San Francisco’s decommissioned city buses into mobile bathroom facilities for the homeless, equipped with toilets and showers.

Moving Company Moves Domestic Violence Survivors Free Of Charge.  Sometimes a headline says it all. What a simple and generous concept. California moving company Meathead Movers  has partnered with domestic abuse non-profit Good Shepherd to help domestic violence survivors escape their unfortunate situations by providing gratis moving services.
‘Tis certainly the season for feel-good stories.

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