Pennsylvania is one of only two states in which the government controls all sales of wine and spirits. In early 2014, the leadership of the Pennsylvania State Senate proposed a plan to maintain government control over all sales of distilled spirits while allowing the sale of wine in grocery stores and supermarkets. If enacted, this partial privatization would leave Pennsylvania’s growing spirits industry at a severe disadvantage while harming Pennsylvania consumers and taxpayers.
La Torre Communications launched an intensive, two-month public affairs campaign for DISCUS to educate target audiences about Pennsylvania’s growing spirits industry and the unintended consequences of partial privatization.
La Torre Communications:
- Formulated clear, concise messaging focusing on the negative effects the proposed legislation would have on Pennsylvania.
- Developed and launched a website with educational messaging and a tool to help constituents contact their legislators about the proposed plan.
- Created digital ads that directed people to the website. Ads were placed on Pennsylvania’s most popular political websites.
- Scheduled editorial board meetings in key legislative districts with Pennsylvania distillers.
- Placed an op-ed piece explaining the consequences of the proposed legislation in Pennsylvania’s largest circulating newspapers and in key legislative districts.
- Connected DISCUS spokespeople to state government reporters for interviews in key investigative reports.
The intensive public affairs campaign succeeded in informing key audiences of the negative, unintended consequences of partial privatization. As a result, the legislative session concluded without the partial-privatization plan even being formally introduced.
Keystone Award: This campaign was recognized by the Public Relations Society of America’s Central PA Chapter for excellence in government/public affairs communications.