Building on a lifetime of public service, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation on the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. For nearly two decades, that belief has energized the Foundation's commitment to empowering people and improving lives across the U.S. and around the world.
A recent study from Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society confirmed something that the Communications team at the Clinton Foundation experienced at length during the 2016 presidential campaign cycle – that it was the target of "disinformation and propaganda."
Daniel Borochoff, the president of CharityWatch said: "If Hillary Clinton wasn't running for president, the Clinton Foundation would be seen as one of the great humanitarian charities of our generation."
To respond to these campaign-driven attacks, we swiftly reorganized our communications structure and prepared rapid-response capabilities with the main objective of mobilizing as many staff and surrogate voices as possible to credibly and consistently defend the work of the Foundation and give real voice to the mission, beliefs, and impact.
In September 2016, the Foundation leveraged the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, to respond to critics and attacks; deploy key staff and surrogate voices in print and broadcast media; establish media partnerships focused on the work; amplify our visual storytelling efforts through compelling video, fact-driven graphics, and photography; and maximize the reach of our earned and social media.
We restructured our department and mobilized rapid-response resources to activate as many staff and surrogate voices as possible to credibly and consistently defend the work of the Foundation – arming them with information, resources, and platforms to dispute mistruths, knock down speculation, and give real voice to the Foundation's mission, beliefs, and impact.
The strategy was multi-dimensional, leveraged the substantive spotlight of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, and included the following elements:
Over 270 stories across local, regional, national, international, and niche publications/broadcast outlets such as the Associated Press, Chronicle of Philanthropy, CNN, Fast Company, Forbes, Huffington Post, New Yorker, New York Magazine, the New York Times, Politico, Reuters, Washington Post, and WIRED and across TV/radio channels including ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR affiliates, etc. This includes:
Between June 2016 and December 2016, Clinton Foundation social content generated over 47 million Facebook post impressions (72% increase from same time period year before) and over 28 million Twitter impressions (32% increase), specifically generating 1.1 million (68% increase) Facebook post engagements (shares, comments, reactions) and over 907,000 (86% increase) Twitter engagements (retweets, replies, likes).