PR Fish Bowl


TGIF: Wendy Davis Stands and Delivers and a PR Star is Born

What’s the quickest way to political PR stardom? It might just be a filibuster.

Wendy Davis was a nationally unknown Texas state senator–up until Tuesday, that is. Although the mainstream media was late to the party, social media fans were mesmerized by the Democrat’s 13-hour filibuster to block what many saw as a highly-restrictive abortion bill in the Texas Legislature. Per State Senate rules, Davis was forced to stand without leaning on anything, taking a break for water, or even using the bathroom for the full 13 hours on the floor.

Ultimately the filibuster led to the death of the bill, at least temporarily. But importantly for PR pros, Davis sparked a social media firestorm, making #StandWithWendy a top trending topic on Twitter. Her stand on a state issue also helped renew the national conversation about abortion.

From a PR perspective, though, the Senator’s performance got us thinking about some possible “strategic alliances” with companies or brands, like:

Sneakers. Like Sarah Palin’s trendy specs and Hillary’s pantsuits, Davis’s running shoes became the iconic fashion statement of the filibuster (and the hot pink ones are selling briskly on Amazon.) The sneakers, coupled with Davis’s own story, are a compelling symbol to many who feel they’ve stood in her shoes. To others, they represent multitasking women who “take a stand.” We’re sure the next leg of the story will bring calls of, “Run, Wendy, Run!”

Back Braces. The filibuster called for Senator Davis to do anything but “lean in.” Although it was called out for flouting senate filibuster rules, her back brace provided the physical support she needed, and we’re sure a company like would embrace the senator’s endorsement.

Adult Diapers. While there’s no evidence that a brand like Depends played a role in the filibuster, when asked if she used a catheter, her office responded that she took “necessary preparations.” (We don’t want to know any more about this one.)

Deodorant. Talk about a sweaty situation. Given the feminist topic, Secret deodorant’s ‘Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman,’ tagline would fit nicely.

Although the Davis filibuster was considered a mainstream media #fail at first, she became an overnight hero, partly due to her “TV movie” backstory that either party has to love. If the politics thing doesn’t work out for her, there’s always a career as a product pitchwoman.

Did you #StandWithWendy? What other products should tap into the senator’s newfound stardom? Tell us below!


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