David Hyson and I have been working, pro bono, for the past several weeks for the Bahrain Coordinating Committee and Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB). Our work has been challenging — in the best sense of the word! — and very gratifying and we look forward to providing public relations, branding, and social media support, as it is needed.
So far, we have created logos, a website/blog, a YouTube Channel, and a public relations plan. We’ve worked on the Twitter profile and Facebook Page. We’ve been building media contact lists, sending press releases and developing relationships with the news media and various NGOs. Today, I helped out with their exhibit at the ADC Convention (photo).
As a communications professional, I’ve noticed that the pro bono work I take on often allows me to learn new things and skills. That is true, I suppose, with any client, but especially in this case, where I’ve had to learn about the intricacies of FARA reporting, congressional relationships, and so much more.
We enjoy working with these organizations and are inspired by the strength and courage of its members and leaders, as well as by the enduring bravery of the Bahraini people. Many, many times, the reports are hard to read, or watch, as in the case of a four-year-old boy who lost his eye after being shot with birdshot pellets by police. But these sad and sometimes horrific stories only make us more determined in our work.
The struggle for human rights and democracy in Bahrain is a cause that should be important to all the world, but especially Americans. A human rights issue affects all of us. Bahrain is an important ally to the U.S., but the government has been injust to its people, especially in the brutal crackdowns of the past two years. However, Bahrain’s problems are not so great they are beyond solutions, and many organizations and individuals are working toward those solutions, including our pro bono clients, the U.N., various human rights organizations, and to a degree, the United States.
Every person does what he or she can. David and I feel gratified to feel like we are making a contribution. Thanks for taking a little time this weekend to learn about Bahrain, and if you would like to become involved, let us know!