In The News

PR Lessons Learned from Judgement Day


According to Harold Camping, sinners and non believers were supposed to be punished through an earthquake at 6 p.m. on May 21, 2011 that would take them directly to hell. Others would descend into heaven. Well, it is currently May 22, 2011, and there wasn’t an earthquake. Surprise!

Something occured to me. There are so many people with these theories about the end of the world. How do they get the publicity or “the word out”?  I saw this current event as an opportunity to learn more about PR. After all, isn’t that how Camping got the word out?

PR Daily posted a story about lessons learned from the rumored judgement day. Out of the 6 lessons, I chose my favorite three.

1. Start Your Message Early

We didn’t learn about his theory the day before. Camping has been sharing the bad news since 2008 with a published pamphlet. He didn’t wait till the last minute to get his message out. This resulted in the world knowing about his prediction. However, this just adds to his humilation of being wrong about his 1994 and 2011 Apocalypse predictions.

2. Offer as Much Information Possible

With more information, comes more interest in the event. The public was interested with how he arrived to his prediction through math equations. People could also find more information on several websites that have more details about why and how.  Giving the media and public more information will make it easier for them to spread the word or publicize your cause.

3. Hitch Your Wagon to a Major News Story

There has been a lot of talk about the world ending. Between the Mayan Calendar and movies, Camping couldn’t get luckier! The public already had an interest in the topic, so with more information coming about that specific topic, they want to educate themselves. Companies may not get this lucky. However, finding a major news story that relates may be the key to get publicity.

These are some great lessons to learn from the judgement day news story. It is amazing how this one theory recieved the worlds attention. With two failed Judgement Day theories, it doesn’t look good for Camping. He just looks like an idiot.


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