Communications Redefined was hired to manage media relations for a lawsuit involving four sexual assault victims represented by JBJ Legal. The four women involved had been sexually harassed by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill during a late-night annual party to mark the end of the legislative session. Additionally, Indiana’s Inspector General and Special Prosecutor Dan Sigler was investigating whether to press criminal charges against the attorney general, making it a particularly tricky case involving high-profile names.
Given that Communications Redefined was hired only a week prior to the expected decision of the Inspector General and Special Prosecutor – the first time the women would be in front of the media – we had limited time to research and plan, but we worked around the clock to make it happen. After meeting with the attorneys representing the case and the victims, and reviewing and analyzing hundreds of past articles that had been written when the allegations were announced, we assembled a plan assuring the four women had a chance to voice their stories. We developed news releases, critical talking points for both counsel and clients and prepared defensive statements based off of findings from our research. We positioned the victims in a way that allowed them to share their stories with the public – and potential jurors for the lawsuit.
The initial month-long phase of the campaign resulted in 512 broadcast hits and 1,595 digital/print articles that told the victims' stories – which were all overwhelmingly positive for the victims. Additionally, in-depth TV segments where the women put a human face to their stories allowed them a valuable platform. Tangible success came when Hoosier lawmakers enacted House Enrolled Act 1309 which mandated the development of Indiana’s first sexual harassment policies – a result the women were hoping for.
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