Black Farmers

National media blitz produces results in Washington

In a cluttered world, nuanced issues require special creativity and energy to break through.

Such was the case of the National Black Farmers Association, which, by 2009, had been work diligently for years to secure funding for a settlement to right decades of discrimination by the USDA.

Farmers and their advocates were now determined to move this important issue to the front burner.

GBW Strategies joined the team, and helped craft a renewed outreach effort that brought rallies to towns throughout America, a mule to Wall Street and millions of eyes to the issue through coverage on CNN, The Washington Post, NPR and countless local media outlets. Our message steadily permeated 'the bubble' around decision-makers and influencers.

On Dec. 10, 2010, President Obama finally signed the historic black farmers' settlement. Our success in reinvigorating and amplifying the message involved:

  • Emphasizing our most compelling messages -- justice, responsibility, action -- in all communications, from press releases to op-eds.

  • Explaining complicated issues clearly and concisely for reporters, editors and others, with an eye toward next steps.

  • Embracing strong visual elements to make key points and inspire action. When the association’s president rode a tractor to Capitol Hill, for example, we made sure press followed.