The Challenge:

  • Eight weeks before a crucial congressional committee vote, the team was tasked with educating and influencing more than a dozen Members of Congress to support a "hard date" for the transformation to digital TV broadcasting. Opponents claimed it would disrupt long-held TV viewing habits and impose undue burdens on low-income, aged and minority households.

Strategy and tactics:

  • Replaced the pro-industry messaging with a populist approach: "Better TV and stronger communities for everyone;" and emphasized that there were workable solutions to helping special populations
  • Conducted "grass-tops" outreach to educate and mobilize influential constituents
  • Placed earned and paid media in affordable, hometown media outlets, as well as congressional-focused outlets

Results:

  • Generated 500+ VIP letters, emails and calls to the Members of Congress
  • Secured 11 members' support and won the key votes in committee and the full Congress