WYCLEF JEAN FOR PRESIDENT by Euro Rscg Haiti for YÉLE HAITI

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WYCLEF JEAN FOR PRESIDENT

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Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Haiti
Agency Euro Rscg Haiti
Released August 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Media Relations
Advertiser: YÉLE HAITI
Product/Service: PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
President: Marian Salzman (Euro RSCG Worldwide PR)
Operations Manager: Allison Pinter (Euro RSCG Worldwide PR)
Account Executive: Alexandra Covington (Euro RSCG Worldwide PR)
Assistant Vice President: Colleen Cleary (Euro RSCG Worldwide PR)
Media Strategist: Cindy Tannenbaum (Euro RSCG Worldwide PR)
Media placement: Op-Ed Placement - Caribbean Analysis, Sunday Times (South Africa), Le Monde, USAToday.com, The Huf - 10-26 July, 2010
Media placement: Op-Ed Placement (Cont) - King Live” Blog, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Star-Ledger (New Jersey), The - 10-26 July, 2010 (Cont)
Media placement: TV Appearances By Wycelf Jean - Larry King Live, American Morning, MSNBC, - 12 July - 8 Aug, 2010

Summary of the Campaign
We needed to establish Wyclef Jean and his NGO, Yéle Haiti, as leaders in Haiti’s recovery and quickly legitimize Jean’s candidacy for president. We devised a strategy that hinged on leveraging the power of earned media on a global stage to rebuild trust in an organization and transform an outspoken hip-hop star into a credible political leader.

Among other tactics, we brokered a multiplatform media deal with Time Warner, leveraging Wyclef on CNN’s “American Morning” and “Larry King Live” and debuting his song “The Day After” on CNN with Soledad O’Brien. We placed a centrepiece story in the Sunday Times (South Africa) the day before the final World Cup match was held in the country.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of the earned media, we crafted and edited 12 original op-eds, and then secured high-profile national and global online and print placements. We managed all media as Jean the candidate emerged, and ensured that a consistent message of trustworthiness was infused throughout coverage.

We garnered more than 130,285,069 overall media impressions for Yéle Haiti in the first six weeks and almost 10.8 billion total media impressions for Wyclef for President on six continents in less than one month.

The Situation
We were working for Yéle Haiti, the NGO co-founded by Grammy award–winning Wyclef Jean, in support of the country’s recovery effort in the wake of a devastating earthquake. At the six-month anniversary of the crippling disaster, we set out to remind the world that there was still much rebuilding to be done and to establish Yéle Haiti and Jean as leaders of that initiative. When Jean felt he could make a bigger difference as president of Haiti, he enlisted us to help support his political bid.

The Goal

Six months after an earthquake devastated Haiti, we needed to boost public perception of Jean’s NGO, Yéle Haiti; when Jean decided on a presidential run, we had to quickly establish a media and communication strategy to position it as a global game-changer, shift perception of Jean from musician to credible candidate and build momentum.

We wanted to bring attention, and vital aid, back to Haiti. We needed to leverage Jean’s worldwide status through media placements while continuing to garner youth support. The Haitian diaspora, with strong ties to Haiti and political, economic and social influence, was a key target.

The Strategy
For our Yéle Haiti drive, we devised these strategy points across multiple media platforms:
• Leverage the power of earned media by producing, editing, pitching and securing placement for an extensive selection of op-eds in national and international outlets.
• Ensure consistency of message from Jean and Yéle Haiti staff.
• Implement social media tactics.
• Tap into the celebrity power of Wyclef, but in such a way that humanized the star.

Once Jean became a candidate, we carried through our Yéle strategy, bolstering it with the following additional points:
• Craft a thorough messaging and media strategy.
• Build flexibility into the plan by revisiting strategy and tactics daily to course-correct for a changing scenario.
• Position Jean’s strengths and anticipate contingencies.
• Focus messaging on the Haitian people and Jean’s policy proposals.

Execution
• Before the quake’s six-month anniversary, released a message of Jean’s call to action for recovery efforts; wrote and pitched op-eds to print and online media.
• Pitched Jean to celebrity media outlets as a socially conscious star.
• Accompanied clients to Haiti for on-the-ground PR counsel.
• Arranged for leak of Jean’s song inspired by the quake.
• Utilized the Huffington Post as official voice and to measure opinion; wrote and sent tweets.
• Created high-profile campaign launch with multiplatform, synergistic Time Warner media deal, including CNN, CNN.com, “Larry King Live,” “American Morning,” Time, People and BlackPlanet.com.
• Coordinated a day of press: NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Observer and Rolling Stone.
• We media managed policy initiatives as Jean, the candidate, emerged. We helped develop a four-pronged platform and ensured that policy points were infused throughout media coverage.

Documented Results
Media:
• Yéle Haiti: Television (U.S. and international); print (including 12 global online and print placements of original op-eds, in outlets including USAToday.com, The Times of London, CNN.com); radio (international, national, local); press release (101 placements).

• Wyclef for President: Time.com leaked interview Aug. 4; Jean made candidacy official on “Larry King Live” the next day, after which we received 500-plus media requests per day. Coverage included top-tier U.S. outlets (The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times); global publications (Le Monde); interviews (NPR, BBC); op-eds (The Sun U.K., HuffPo, WSJ).

Impressions:
Garnered more than 130,285,069 overall media impressions for Yéle Haiti and almost 10.8 billion total media impressions for Wyclef for President on six continents.

Bottom line:
Despite Jean’s being ruled ineligible, we established him as a passionate statesman. Now one of the world’s most recognized men, he sat on Time’s most recent Man of the Year panel.