Case Study

Political Advocacy: Saving Jobs Through the Ballot Box

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The stakes were high: 100 jobs and a heritage business.

The NYCO Minerals Inc. mine in the Adirondack Mountains had but a few years of life left. Once the limit was reached, the business and the jobs and communities it supported would be in jeopardy.

NYCO had one shot — persuade the voters of New York State to allow mining temporarily on 200 acres of Forever Wild Forest Preserve land in exchange for permanent ownership of 1,500 acres of pristine forests and streams.

NYCO entrusted the task to Behan, which organized and executed a data-driven statewide campaign including coalition building, media relations, mainstream and online advertising, targeted direct mail and electronic communications and public advocacy.

The result: Endorsements from key newspapers across the state, as well as from environmental, labor and business groups; interviews in key television markets; and broad public support from state and local elected officials.

On Election Day, for the first time in history, New York voters approved a land swap in the Adirondack Forest Preserve to benefit a private company, preserving essential jobs in an isolated rural community.

For this campaign, Behan was awarded the prestigious Silver Anvil by the Public Relations Society of America.