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Kinder Institute for Urban Research Study on U.S. Infrastructure Needs

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, teamed up with Henry Cisneros, the former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and ex-mayor of San Antonio for a national study of America’s greatest urban infrastructure needs in 2021.  It turned to Butler Associates to propel its story, strategically timed at the earliest days of the Biden Administration.

The study - A Bottom-Up Infrastructure Strategy for American Renewal - carried out over several months in late 2020, relied on interviews with hundreds of local officials across the nation, to compile a list of their infrastructure priorities for the Biden Team.  Butler Associates was asked to shape the communications strategy to elevate awareness of its findings and of Cisneros and Fulton as infrastructure source experts.

When the report’s executive summary was pre-released in early January, we offered a sneak peek to select news outlets to spark dialogue and demand. On January 20, during its live inauguration coverage, CNBC featured Mr. Cisneros live on-air just minutes after the new president was sworn in, to talk infrastructure.

When the full report was released, we promoted it to major media across the U.S., securing exclusive interviews and stories in the AP, New York Times, Politico, Yahoo! Finance, Forbes, CNBC,  ABC News, and countless others. We helped draft and secure placement of opinion editorials in top-tier publications such as The Hill, Real Clear PoliticsThe Houston Chronicle, and others.  In fact, the evening before The Hill published an opinion article by the co-authors, a call came in from the White House for an advance briefing.  That is real impact!

Later when the respected American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its 20th quadrennial report card on the State of American infrastructure, giving the nation a grade of C-, the Butler team advancing the message of Kinder and its team, had already been achieving significant strategic communications results. Journalists also wanted our infrastructure thought-leaders for comment on ASCE report.  This was another clear illustrative example of our team successfully tapping breaking news cycles to plug our clients in as leading issue expert commentators.

  • Around 50 news stories generated over the first few months

  • Grabbed the attention of the White House

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