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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 11 2013: I would have thought that both the celebrity and the cause benefit. What does your research suggest?

    I remember reading something related about the We Are the World song/video- that only one of the performers actually brought professional benefit to herself by doing the video.
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      Apr 11 2013: I did a survey to find out which charity people associated with a specific celebrity (Bob Geldof, Sean Penn, Joanna Lumley and Angelina Jolie), and most people knew at least one charity that they were affiliated with.In the case of Bob Geldof it seems as though his celebrity profile was raised by his work with Live Aid. There are several celebrities who are quiet philanthropists, so if the media hasn't got a hold of those stories then one wonders whether some celebrities and their publicists purposely want the media attention for their benefit. Although it can be argued that the cause in turn gets noticed and the public are made aware of the issues.Is the 'We are the world' song the one made for Africa in 1985 or the more recent one for Haiti? I'd like to read that article where you read that! Thanks for your response!
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        Apr 11 2013: I meant the original We Are the World song. I read the article long ago and have no recollection as to its source.
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        Apr 17 2013: "There are several celebrities who are quiet philanthropists."

        How many examples of "quiet philanthropists" do you have? In the cases of "quiet philanthropists" does the cause benefit more than the celebrity?
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          Apr 22 2013: I have just done research on this and i would say the quiet philanthropists are the likes of Bill Gates and other such billionaires who have nothing to gain. Also Sandra Bullock and Shakira have given a lot of money towards causes and definitely do not get the media attention that others do. I wonder why this is? They are hugely successful and I would say relatable individuals (as relatable as an Oscar winner and a international pop star could be). Maybe they ensure that they don't get the media attention, I'm not sure. Thinking about it, without the media attention there is not that awareness and if there is not that awareness then there is not that small percentage of people who may take action which could benefit the cause.

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