The older I get, the more I believe in fate. I really think things happen for a reason.
Yesterday, a public affairs officer from the U.S. military in Afghanistan connected with me on LinkedIn. I immediately messaged him to thank him for what he is doing for our country.
At the same time that we connected, I got a call from a good friend and news producer in South Carolina. She told me about a friend and military veteran who went missing during a scuba diving trip in Thailand. This past weekend, Josh Devine, a private contractor for the U.S. military in Kuwait was on a boat with his wife for a scuba diving adventure. While on the boat, he simply vanished. Thailand police stopped searching for him because of a holiday and the incident is very suspicious.
My friend asked me if I could represent the family and get media exposure for them. Of course, I said yes. I have the utmost respect for our military and veterans. I made it a mission to do everything in my power to help Josh’s family get the word out. I can not help search for Josh, but I can use my skills to get the news out there.
My first instinct was to reach out to my new military contact on LinkedIn. I did and he spread the word to all of his army contacts. Any little bit helps. Then, I reached out to all of my media contacts to get their story out there. Within hours there were reporters from five television stations in three different markets at Josh’s sisters house. The interviews begun and the news was shared throughout the night. Their Facebook page, Bring Josh Home Safe went from 125 likes to more than a thousand in just a couple of hours.
This is what I LOVE about my job. I can honestly say that I made a difference. Public relations is powerful, very powerful. I always enjoy telling stories about my clients and their businesses, but when you can truly help a family in need, that’s what it is all about. It’s not about money, popularity or bragging rights…it’s about making a difference. Because of the news coverage, this family may be closer to getting answers, going to Thailand and finding Josh.
I pray that Josh is found and that he’ll be reunited with his family. I encourage you to share his Facebook page and spread the word on all social media outlets. Use the #Hope4Josh.