Matter Chatter

Seeing Red on Boston’s Red Line: Social Media PR Combats Proposition 8




I rode the Red Line into our Boston office yesterday morning and was greeted as usual with the glow of smart phones in the hands of commuters. The difference this time was the repeated flicker of red squares skimming past on people’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds. I pulled out my own phone to check up on the club I hadn’t been invited to.

 As a strong supporter of equal marriage, it turns out I was already in the club – I just hadn’t donned the badge to reflect it on social media.

Though I already have an idea where most of my friends stand on the issue regardless of their profile picture, seeing the flood of new defaults served as an in-your-face, all-day reminder about this critical “moment in time” concerning Proposition 8. Though the repetition of red may have caused you to get a bit dizzy by day’s end, the display is something that I deem great PR for the cause of equal marriage.

What commanded more attention on your news feed – the red badges or the standard profile pictures?

Was your feed dramatically red-heavy in general? Mine was. To me, that seems to shout that the mindset of my social network was largely in favor of equal marriage.

Who got more media attention today from TIME, ABC, MSNBC, Mashable (etc., etc.)? Surely it was the people who chose to change their pictures over those who did not, illustrating for all that there’s a hellavalot of people supporting same-sex marriage in this country, be it grounded in generational opinion or a changing mindset overall.

The Human Rights Campaign got some great PR today. Their creative take on the organization’s usual logo had much of the country seeing red, turning the attention of supporters and non-supporters alike to an important issue in this country’s history. It also landed the organization in the headlines of major, respected news harbingers across the nation – not because of the controversy they stirred up, but for the positive response they received by millions.