Recently, the Oscars aired. This year’s batch of acceptance speeches were memorable, to say the least. I remember scrolling through my Twitter timeline and kept seeing hashtags regarding the specific speeches that were given as they aired.
Graham Moore’s acceptance speech hit home the most for me.This morning, I finally watched To Write Love on Her Arm’s movie adaptation of their story. To explain it briefly, the nonprofit organization reaches out, speaks about and promotes that hope is real. Their founder started the organization when he met a young woman struggling with addiction and self harm. They promote that if you are struggling with issues like that or thoughts of suicide, that HOPE IS REAL. Recovery is real. I spent the entire movie crying.
Moore’s speech and mention of suicide, not fitting in and then saying to stay weird goes hand in hand with TWLOHA’s message. His speech creates a public relations opportunity for an organization like TWLOHA or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to speak out. They can use this speech or use #stayweird to raise awareness for where people can come to get help if they’re struggling. This simple phrase could turn into a movement. I believe it was a trending topic. But it could go further than that. Moore’s simple phrase could lead to the root of a whole PR campaign promoting that there are alternatives to killing yourself. This could lead to a self love platform and campaign that TWLOHA or AFSP could spearhead. The speech created a huge opportunity for conversation and movement. It could change the audience’s attitudes.
The audience would be primarily young people who struggle with depression, thoughts or attempted suicide and feeling like an outcast. But anyone can feel that way, at many points in life. But I feel the primary target audience would be middle school age kids to young adults in their mid 20’s who struggle with the issues mentioned. But that is by no means the ONLY public to target. This could be a huge PR opportunity.
Personally, I do not see how it could create a PR problem for an organization. His publicist may have felt he shared too much or something too personal. But if you are in the position Graham Moore is in, use your voice and be heard. He did that, and it resonated. He showed that it is OKAY to tear down this stigma society has when dealing with issues like suicide.