Coalition for Public Safety

Mobilizing a coalition to reform the American justice system.

The Challenge

While significant momentum for reforming the nation’s criminal justice system has been growing over the last several years, it became clear to reform advocates and lawmakers that no central organization or coalition existed to bring together and coordinate the ongoing efforts of organizations from across the political spectrum. Rooted in the idea that despite differences of opinion on other issues, conservative and progressive organizations were on the same page when it came to reforming the justice system, and their efforts would be more effective if they could come together and unite, they formed the Coalition for Public Safety, a bipartisan organization  committed  to galvanizing a larger, bipartisan movement for reform—both at the federal and state level.

 

Our Work

Precision worked closely with the Coalition for Public Safety from its inception, developing a strategy to establish the Coalition as the leading, bipartisan organization on criminal justice reform, leveraging the name recognition and prominence of its partners from the left and the right to establish its presence nationally.

Following the launch of the Coalition (which generated significant national news coverage and attention), Precision worked closely with the Coalition and its partner organizations to begin mapping out a longer-term strategy to not only continue establishing their strength and influence, but to also begin helping to frame and drive the national debate around criminal justice reform. In addition to conceptualizing, planning and executing a series of high profile events—including policy summits, panel discussions on Capitol Hill, news conferences and other national news-generating events—Precision mounted an aggressive rapid response and earned and social monitoring operation, responding to and leveraging justice reform news developments across the country in real-time.

Building on this strong foundation, we were then able to launch the 501C4 counterpart to the Coalition: the U.S. Justice Action Network, managing web development and branding for the growing organization. The U.S. Justice Action Network immediately began advocacy campaigns for reform in three priority states: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Precision worked closely with the Network’s bipartisan partners to identify in-state resources and assets, and further bolstered those assets by helping to develop a larger network of support comprised of in-state lobbyists, local groups and reform-friendly legislators advocating for criminal justice reforms. Using on-the-ground intelligence, Precision developed strategic plans unique to each state to execute public education and advocacy campaigns on key justice reform issues and used grassroots, earned and social media tactics to persuade key lawmakers to move U.S. Justice Action Network-supported legislation forward.

With the U.S. Justice Action Network firing on all cylinders, the Coalition for Public Safety continued its work on a parallel track, feeding into one larger strategy. Through identifying trending story narratives and closely following developments not only at the national level but also at the state level, Precision continued inserting the Coalition into news developments and discussions across the country, saturating state and national justice reform media coverage with Coalition messaging.

From moving USA Today to editorialize for the first time ever in favor of sentencing reform, to being featured on national television shows like The Daily Show, the Coalition quickly became a voice of authority on justice reform, and was written about, featured or mentioned in more than 1,000 articles within the first seven months of its launch. At the same time, the U.S. Justice Action Network has become an opinion influencer in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania and its work has been featured in multiple editorials in those states.

In addition to pursuing an aggressive earned and digital media strategy, Precision developed a parallel influencer strategy for both the Coalition for Public Safety and the U.S. Justice Action Network, organizing high level meetings with key justice reform decision makers in the West Wing, on Capitol Hill, and in statehouses in targeted states, giving the organizations a direct line into some of the most critical decision makers in the justice reform realm.

All of the Coalition’s work necessitated that Precision coordinate closely with the Coalition’s partner organizations, and required Precision to develop and execute an aggressive slate of virtually non-stop activities to generate a constant drum beat of awareness for the Coalition’s bipartisan work at the national and state levels. Among other high-profile examples, news of their event on prisoner reentry co-hosted with the Washington Post trended nationally on social media.

 

The Bottom Line

Through our hands-on managing and execution of the Coalition for Public Safety’s work and the launch and management of the U.S. Justice Action Network, Precision was able to establish the Coalition as the nation’s pre-eminent bipartisan criminal justice reform organization.

Within only six months of the Coalition’s launch, it became  a household name among policymakers and high-level influencers, as well as among national media and among other justice reform advocates and organizations.

Precision continues its work with both organizations, identifying opportunities to advance discussion on the need for comprehensive and meaningful criminal justice reform, as well as influencing and moving state-based reform legislation toward passage.

Thanks to the successful first six months of the Coalition’s launch, and Precision’s ability to saturate key audiences and targets with its messaging and work, the Coalition has become a “go to” source for some of the nation’s most prominent reporters and news outlets, in addition to being a recognized and credible name among the most prominent and respected conservative and progressive political organizations.