Government Litigation Communications for a Major U.S. Retailer
A well-known and highly reputable national retail chain was under fire from the Federal Trade Commission as it attempted to expand its footprint through the purchase of a competitor. Capitalizing on concerns about higher product prices as well as some controversial actions involving the retailer’s CEO, the FTC managed to turn what started as a relatively low-key dispute into a major national news story. The company’s reputation with customers and shareholders was on the line as was its go-forward business strategy.
Public Strategies established a war room at corporate headquarters to coordinate internal and external communications. We also established a seamless collaborative relationship with the company’s external legal counsel to ensure that all messaging related to the government litigation was timely and persuasive as well as fully supportive of the company’s legal strategy.
When the dispute arrived in open court, Public Strategies placed media experts at the courthouse who provided multiple influential daily briefings to the press, distributed documentation to support the company’s case while persuasively highlighting weaknesses of the government’s argument, and provided support for the attorneys who were acting as on-record spokespeople for the company.
When the government spoke, Public Strategies’ rapid response protocol enabled the client to respond quickly and forcefully. As key decisions in the legal battle were made, Public Strategies ensured that the company’s interpretation of them carried weight with the media and influenced its coverage of the issues.
By establishing a collaborative and aggressive communications management process, the client was able to most effectively present its case before the court of public opinion. Despite a potentially brand-damaging strategy on the part of the federal government, the client emerged from the battle victorious with its image as a positive force in the communities it serves preserved.