Campaign: 290% Greater Than Expected: A Campaign to Maximize Returns to Enron's Creditors
Enron executives may have been responsible for engineering one of the largest acts of corporate fraud in U.S. history but, six years after its 2001 fall from grace, the company's new board of directors (part of the post-bankruptcy creation of the Enron Creditors Recovery Corp. [ECRC]) was still engaged in a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Citigroup for allegedly assisting in the scandal.
The lawsuit was initiated in 2004 in an attempt to hold Citigroup accountable to Enron creditors, but by 2007, the company had continued to avoid settlement, in turn holding up creditors' access to billions of dollars and draining the resources Enron execs needed to direct to the organization's recovery. To reverse the issue's waning visibility in the media and to pressure Citigroup to finally settle the litigation in terms favorable to Enron and its creditors, the company teamed up with FD to form an unprecedented intersection of legal and corporate communications. Among the strategies implemented to achieve their goals:
Appealing to a broader audience: FD execs with legal degrees analyzed thousands of pages of legal documents and subsequently produced succinct, easy-to-digest summaries of the litigation's key points. This made the issue more accessible to diverse stakeholders, from media and the public to Enron creditors and policy makers.
Gathering intelligence: The team surveyed key thought leaders to ascertain insights into Citigroup's perceived reputation, as well as their engagement with the Enron-Citigroup issue. These findings helped shape key messages and drive decisions about which challenges to use to effectively reach these target audiences.
Redesigning corporate Web site: FD's Web design team developed a new site to present relevant facts, media coverage and legal documents in an accessible format.
Engaging in aggressive media outreach: The team divided target media based on subject matter and then media trained Enron chairman John Ray, who became the voice of the campaign in multiple news outlets.
Ultimately, the team's approach of increasing awareness around this ongoing litigation to reach a settlement surpassed expectations--by a whopping 290%. On March 26, 2008, Citigroup settled with ECRC for a record $1.66 billion, which allowed Enron to return 52 cents on the dollar to creditors--an amount that drastically exceeded the original plan of 17 cents on the dollar.
Company: Spada and Cohen Milstein
Campaign: Cohen Milstein's Air Passenger Victory - Breaking the Mould
In February 2008, on behalf of class action law firm Cohen Milstein, Spada initiated an international media outreach campaign to communicate the ground-breaking $200 million settlement involving Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and 5.6 million U.K. air passengers. Ingratiating target audiences with the "U.S. class action culture," as well as attacking the lack of understanding within business and consumer markets regarding their rights to seek justice against corporate wrongdoers, the team ultimately helped Cohen Milstein--new to the European market--become synonymous with collective redress in London and Europe.
Company: AMERIGROUP Corporation
Campaign: AMERIGROUP Corporation Illinois Litigation
When a former employee filed a suit against AMERIGROUP Corporation, alleging that it refused to provide healthcare coverage to late-term pregnant women, the company faced a profound reputational risk. To defend and build its reputation, the company's executives developed a compelling counter-narrative that included crucial facts and context that were missing in the allegations. Thanks to the communications plan, AMERIGROUP executives managed to minimize coverage of the settlement and ensure that the federal government in no way reduced or restricted the company's ability to do business.