Academic Institution Integrity
A federal service academy faced an existential crisis when a critical component of its training regimen was suspended and it was under threat of losing its accreditation and federal funding while media spread rumors of misconduct. The academy’s future hung in the balance.
Strategy & Execution
The academy did the hard work to get its affairs in order, but still faced a hostile media and critical congressional environment that threatened its funding. That’s when it forged a partnership with Edelman Global Advisory. In concert with our Crisis team we successfully reminded Congress, through a broad-based public affairs campaign, of the academy’s critical role in our nation’s defense readiness and economic health. As a result, Congress reinstated the academy’s critical programming and lifted its accreditation warning, but the academy’s reputation had not recovered and federal funding remained at risk. Inspired by research from our Edelman Intelligence team, the academy expanded our partnership into a full-service public-facing issue advocacy campaign to educate and enhance public perceptions among lawmakers, the media and opinion leaders on the essential role the academy played to our nation. Edelman pulled together a fully integrated team to strategize and execute a cross-channel public affairs campaign aimed at engaging key committees in the House, Senate and the U.S. Department of Defense as well as opinion leaders and media.
Receptivity to the academy increased measurably among lawmakers, opinion leaders and decision-makers in Washington, D.C. Content from our campaign was applauded by government officials and adopted by key government administrations and re-posted on their social media channels. The highest levels of leadership in the Department of Defense and within other essential federal entities also showed a renewed interest in the role of the academy. Most importantly, federal funding was restored. Moreover, thanks to our work across teams and offices, we are proud that our integrated campaign was shortlisted as one of PRWeeks’ campaigns of the year.