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SF Pride Hired a Crisis PR Firm to Broker Compromise Deal With Police Over Parade Boycott

It turns out that the latest compromise deal for police to march in the SF Pride parade was engineered by a tech industry PR firm who hired SF Pride for $4,000 a month in the hopes, in their words, of a “funny and urgent story” to tell.

There’s a running gag among journalists every year as Pride Month rolls around, as our inboxes fill up with corporate pandering, with promotions like a Burger King “Proud Whopper” Rainbow Listerine Mouthwashand goddamn rainbow Doritos. Those emails asking us to cheer their “Limited Edition”! Pride Month products don’t come from companies like Burger King, Listerine, or Doritos themselves. Instead, they come from hired PR firms headquartered in New York or Los Angeles who see Pride Month as their kind of big jackpot “Christmas in June.” , where they create fat bills to promote these queer washing campaigns aimed at making big corporations feel like “allies”.

But a bold tech-PR firm has apparently found a new and different revenue stream to milk for Pride Month. You will remember the recent eight-day mini controversy in which the SFPD declared that they would boycott the Pride march banning uniformed officers from marching, and Mayor London Breed was quick to declare that she too would join the boycott. Barely a week later, SFPD and SF Pride announced a compromise which obviously satisfied all sides.

As the Chronicle reported at the time“The deal came about Thursday morning when representatives from the Mayor’s Office, SFPD Officers Pride Alliance and Pride met [Supervisor Matt] Dorsey’s office to seek resolution of a controversy.” The Chron added that “discussions also took place at a public forum on the subject at Manny’s on Wednesday night,” which was attended by the SFPD Officers Pride Alliance and the interim director of SF Pride, Suzanne Ford, were involved.

Yet this account may have left out a key player. According to PR Week, it was a tech PR firm called Bospar tasked with brokering and promoting the Compromise Treaty.

“Bospar worked quickly. The PR agency began working with the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee on June 1, and the agreement was released the next day,” according to PR Week. “Bospar advised the customer, managed the public relations and worked out the compromise statement.”

Bospar from San Francisco describes himself as an “award-winning tech PR” firm. your own press release calls them “the “politely intrusive” PR company,” which probably means I’ll get a nasty email from them for not saying appropriately flattering things about them.

According to PR Week, Bospar was contacted two days after the whole police boycott brouhaha erupted. “That [SF Pride] The organization reached out to Bospar on May 25 and said they were looking for a crisis communications person they could have on call,” the publication reports. They add that Bospar co-founder Curtis Sparrer “described his company’s work with the organization as ‘a labor of love.’ The group pays Bospar $4,000 a month.”

Apparently, $4,000 a month is well below the usual interest rate.

Bospar’s co-founder Sparrer told PR Week, “Now that San Francisco Pride has turned the page, we look forward to telling the funnier and more urgent story because there are a ton of different laws currently targeting LGBTQIA people.”

The words “funny and urgent” might make you want to hurl, as that’s a seemingly shallow turn of phrase considering how terrifying anti-trans legislation is at the state level right now Genital examinations for children and Child abuse allegations against parents of trans children. Many of these harsh penalties are imposed by the police.

Sparrer also noted that if this dispute were not resolved, “San Francisco Pride could suffer the same fate as Boston,” a city that broke up its official Pride march this year. But that almost feels like some sort of protection bat threat where it would be a real shame if any of your permit applications were denied if you didn’t keep the police happy. And maybe that’s the new reality of big-money Pride celebrations in big US cities. And if so, the PR industry is figuring out how to monetize this new dynamic.

Related: SF Transgender District Boycotts City-Sponsored Pride Events In Response To Mayor’s Support For Police [SFist]

Picture: @mattdorsey on Twitter

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