A & Co. Case Studies
Create the Narrative
Leader to Leader
Problem: A large wine maker was creating legislation significantly devaluing other wine labels, create legal hurdles for wine growers to sell fruit across state lines, creating a new bureaucracy inside a government agency and effectively dividing the wine industry. The bills were presented as “truth in labeling” and had 70% bi-partisan support.
Solution: Create a new coalition, create a story, influence government decision makers, and deploy a social media campaign to kill four bills before the Legislature.
Atkinson created the Wine Industry Council consisting of growers and winery’s making up 70% by volume of the grapes produced. He recruited and led a team of Government Affairs professionals to begin telling the coalition’s story before key decision makers. A strategy was created and deployed to legally and politically separate the sponsoring large wine maker from the state sponsored Wine Board resulting in a new round of statewide town hall meetings. Atkinson filled the town hall meetings with coalition members and talking points. Atkinson then created several earned media stories and Op-Eds in various trade publications before a highly leveraged social media campaign was unleashed. Over 1.2 million impressions were made in social media as the bills were slowed before the Joint Ways and Means Committee and the House Economic Development Committee. Ultimately all four bills were killed and the new coalition is in position to redefine and unify the state’s wine industry.
Problem: A former executive of a major footwear company wanted to place a MLB team in Portland Oregon. The idea had been tried and failed twice before.
Solution: Create a team and immediate project legitimacy.
Atkinson recruited, assembled and led the team for branding, public relations, government relations, finance, real estate and legal. Atkinson led the team to create the brand, the brand rollout, and negotiations with the City and State. Simutanously, recruiting finance partners and series one of investors. Timelines were created to demonstrate legitimacy to MLB, government decision makers, and the public at large.
Problem: The state and its largest city was posed to pass rent control legislation.
Solution: Create a team; create a brand and a new voice for the housing industry.
Atkinson created More Housing Now! and the team of professionals to run a new message of housing economics before the public, government officials and the courts. Over 25 social media films were written, directed and deployed. Atkinson and team raised over $1.5MM for More Housing Now! from San Francisco, Seattle and Portland.
Problem: A controversial pipeline was to be created across critical environmental habitat.
Solution: Work with decision makers inside the company (client) to reroute the pipeline and create project legitimacy through public communications.
Atkinson worked directly with the construction company to forge alliances with key environmental groups to restore decades old habitat in a seawater estuary and to find a new crossing of the famous Rogue River. Atkinson also worked closely to create an outreach with rural fire departments to provide fight-fighting vehicles as the company’s commitment to project safety.
Problem: A large multinational restaurant chain and their franchises were threatened by a City Government statute to prevent future construction of drive-thrus.
Solution: Create social media films and target the to grassroots people in opposition of a pending ordinance vote.
Atkinson wrote, directed and launched three social media films and branded the campaign. His strategy was with a grassroots movement first; knowing earned media would soon follow. When the earned media picked up on the story the effort to pass the ordinance would fail. The ordinance was pulled ten days after the campaign was launched.
Problem: A native tribe was trying at add reservation holdings (land) near another more well financed tribe. The decision to add or reject was before the State and the Federal Government.
Solution: Create a story and talking points not only making the case for the tribe, but also created good will with the local residents.
Atkinson wrote the strategy and worked with tribal leaders to execute.
Problem: A small and newly forming democratic Government in the Middle East was fighting for recognition with the US State Department.
Solution: Create a series of relationships with US Government leaders.
Atkinson was part of the Gold Star Families program featured on CBS’s 60 mins. Building on the success of the program and the “Thank You America Campaign,” Atkinson created the Leader–to-Leader exchange program, a formal sister-state relationship with the Kurdistan Regional Government, and hosted various events with American political and business leaders with the High Representative from the KRG in the US.