Generating Media Coverage
Today’s media and reporters are busier than ever, and an effective communications campaign must be savvier to meet its goals. Reporters are bombarded with phone calls and e-mails trying to get them to write a specific story or column. At Blueprint Communications, we work to put our clients above the fray by making a reporter’s job easier – not more difficult. We anticipate what reporters need, be it interesting quotes or useful data; and then we deliver it in a timely fashion, maximizing the opportunity for our clients.
A large industry coalition relied on a Blueprint Communications partner to increase their media profile and educate opinion leaders on an important public policy issue. To do this, we anticipated newsworthy developments, reached out to key reporters and endeavored to be the first ones to contact media when news broke — typically, within minutes. We developed memorable quotes that made good copy while helping to accentuate the coalition’s goals.
As a result, within just a few months, this coalition went from almost no media presence to being included in the coverage of national, regional, and Capitol Hill media outlets (including TV, radio and print). These outlets include The Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg, The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Fox News, CNBC, CBS, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill and others. One of the group’s quotes was even included as a headline on The Drudge Report, the nation’s most viewed news aggregator.
Turning Negative Coverage Around
Receiving a bombardment of negative coverage can be a harrowing experience. For many, the first instinct is to adopt a ‘bunker mentality’ and not engage with the press. Others may choose to engage with the media, but then inadvertently make the problem worse. At Blueprint Communications, we walk our clients through the media maelstrom by helping them organize their facts, decide on a message, and thoughtfully engage with reporters.
Blueprint partners spent several years working with a coalition of businesses who were being attacked in the media, and under assault in city halls and state legislatures. Despite a limited environmental footprint, the industry found itself being regularly challenged by fringe environmental groups.
Our team worked with the coalition to build new messages that centered on the industry’s jobs and small business owners. This new focus allowed the coalition to go on offense against its critics and dramatically change the coverage surrounding the issue. When our work began, most stories on the issue were one-sided, but once the coalition began employing new jobs-focused messaging and relying on small businesspeople to act as spokespersons, news stories on the issue became remarkably balanced.
Working with Media in High Profile Court Cases
A Fortune 500 company employed Blueprint Communications to help plan and execute media strategies surrounding a multi-billion dollar court case. Blueprint partners worked closely with the company’s legal team in developing messages and proof points that would tell the company’s side of the story in the press. We also helped to prepare spokespeople and attorneys for the questions they would receive from reporters.
During the trial, the Blueprint team spent weeks at the courthouse engaging with local and national reporters covering the proceedings and ensuring that the company’s messages were included in the coverage. We also established press conferences and stakeouts for attorneys so that reporters would have video to include in their stories. Blueprint’s efforts helped to ensure that the company received significantly more balanced coverage throughout the trial, and fostered better relationships with key reporters.
At Blueprint Communications, we focus on developing creative messages and tactics, as well as finding ways to reach out to allies who can further spread our message. There is no standard ‘playbook’ at Blueprint, but rather a thoughtful and specific approach that is unique to each client’s needs.
A Blueprint partner worked with one of the largest coalitions in Washington, helping them develop and execute their media strategies on an ongoing basis. When they wanted to improve public education on their issue in a half dozen target states, our partner recommended the construction and deployment of “classrooms on wheels” that could spend the summer touring county fairs and other public events in targeted states. Beyond the events themselves, these classrooms helped the coalition generate significant media attention associated with their visits. The effort proved to be such a success that the coalition has continued to use the classrooms every summer.
Comprehensive Advocacy Campaigns
Deeply rooted in messaging and research, we customize each advocacy campaign with tailored strategy and creative tactics. Utilizing the latest message delivery and data platforms – combined with tried and true tactics – we help our clients command the narrative and move the needle among our target audience through earned and paid media.
When faced with new federal rules, labeled “the most expensive regulation in U.S. history,” (Politico, 10/01/15) a top national business association turned to a Blueprint partner to help develop a multi-faceted advocacy effort – including broadcast and cable television ads and a robust digital and social media campaign. The advocacy effort won the day. The Administration walked back their own proposed rule, providing “a win for industry groups on a fiercely debated rule.”