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Lakshmi Narayan

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Celebrity Activism: Who ultimately benefits, the celebrity or the cause?

I am doing a dissertation on this topic and would like people to give an opinion on what they think of the question. I study PR so anything that relates back to media, how the publics attitude is swayed and what happens if the celebrity and the cause don't align, and does the cause push the celeb profile or the other way around. Case studies that I've looked at are- Bob Geldof-Live Aid, Joanna Lumley-Gurkhas , Sean Penn-Haiti and Angelina Jolie- any campaign she has been affiliated with.


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    Apr 21 2013: Hey Lakshmi,

    Taking a look back at some of the ideas you expressed earlier:

    "I am looking at celebrities who have a bad reputation in the eyes of the media being associated with charities e.g. Lindsay Lohan- child trafficking in India, which seems like a complete PR stunt to raise her profile..."

    and more recent

    "I agree that in the end both the celebrity and the cause benefit, but yes I am trying to figure out if one tops the other slightly."

    I've been thinking, do you think there is any way to quantify any of this stuff? I'm not guaranteeing that it would help any, but would it be possible to find out how much money or donations the "child trafficking in India charity" raised before and after Lindsay Lohan's involvement compared to how much name exposure and movie/TV offers she received before and after "announcing" her support for "child trafficking in India charity"?
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      Apr 22 2013: This is exactly what I need to find out for my through my research and then analyse this but those figures are always kept so quiet. I think I need to compare charities that rely heavily on celebrity with others that don't.
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        Apr 22 2013: Yes, good. Hmmm... "those figures are kept quiet..." at first I wondered "why?" and I thought maybe some charities think it is in their best interest to not share that information. Hmmm... sounds shady. And really, a charity, which is supposed to be a for a "good cause" shouldn't have anything to hide. Anyways, I'll see what I can dig up, if I can dig up anything!

        And I think you are right to "compare charities that rely heavily on celebrity with others that don't." Comparing the results between the two should be worth it. You'll see what you find when you get there! :-)

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