HURRICANES IRMA AND MARIA HAD DEVASTATED PUERTO RICO—AND NEGATIVE MEDIA COVERAGE THREATENED TO MAKE THE DAMAGE PERMANENT.
Puerto Rico desperately needed federal disaster relief, but perceptions about financial mismanagement by Governor Ricardo Roselló’s administration had made federal lawmakers hesitant.
THE ISLAND’S COMMUNICATIONS TEAM WAS OVERWHELMED BY A STORM OF MEDIA INQUIRIES.
The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFFA) had limited communications personnel to shape positive narratives or respond to growing negative media attention. As interview requests went unanswered and arranged interviews were cancelled at the last minute, opportunities to make the case for relief funds grew scarce.
IMPLEMENTING A PLAN TO REVERSE PERCEPTION—FAST.
After a comprehensive communication audit, we designed a strategic plan to increase media awareness of Puerto Rico’s need for assistance and counter the financial mismanagement narrative with stories of good governance by the Roselló administration.
LET’S SEE OUR RESULTS
IMPACT: POSITIVE STORIES AND A POSITIVE RESPONSE FROM WASHINGTON.
Leveraging the governor’s approachable and relatable personality, we arranged multiple television and radio appearances, including an interview on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” and an on-location taping of “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”. While mainstream media helped build public support for the island, we used traditional and social media to reach our target audiences in Congress. The reversal in perception helped Governor Roselló secure a $15.8B down payment for emergency disaster relief and attract an influx of new business investment. Just as important, we put in place a ROKK-managed communications team to ensure a proactive and coordinated response to future events.