CASE STUDY: U.S. Naval Institute (USNI)
With a bevy of established military organizations and specialists already on the scene, the U. S.
Naval Institute (USNI), a non-profit military membership association based in Washington, D.C.,
wanted to garner attention from top-tier media outlets while simultaneously positioning its CEO,
Major General Tom Wilkerson, as a go-to expert worthy of interviews by the mainstream media on
a variety of topics of military expertise. Though the organization was well respected and visible to
military trade publications, it had yet to leverage that visibility to grow its presence and relevance
on a substantive national platform. The Boreland Group (TBG) was charged with raising the
organization’s visibility, nationally, through a media-focused public relations campaign.
TBG accomplished its publicity goals by crafting press releases aimed at a broad base of beat
reporters, from national business to medical/health writers, and collateral to make the media more
aware of USNI and its operations, while drawing attention to a conference on “Wounded Warriors”
which spotlighted the work the organization does and legitimized its expertise.
The firm also organized a summer media tour designed to build buzz for the conference. A multi-
faceted approach was taken, using tools such as press releases, personal invitations, a series of
targeted phone calls to some of the nation’s leading newspapers, television and radio stations, in-
person meetings with prominent media and follow-up calls to interested parties to ensure
maximum news coverage and optimal conference attendance.
A well-organized public relations program ensured that USNI’s objectives were not just met, but
exceeded. The results were astounding: More than 200 members of the press were contacted
multiple times, and the aggressive approach led to more than 400 placements in some of the
country’s most highly regarded media outlets. As a result of the outreach, Major Wilkerson had
pre-conference interviews and meetings with:
The New York Times (in New York City)
The Wall Street Journal (in New York City and Washington, DC)
An impressive roster of reporters also attended the “Wounded Warriors” conference, namely USA
Today, CNN, NBC’s Washington, DC affiliate, ABC News Radio, and Alhurra, and placements
included a front page story in The New York Times
Major General Wilkerson was interviewed on a variety of military-related issues, from Secretary
Gates’ migration from the Bush Administration to the Obama Administration to Somali pirates to
then President-elect Obama security appointments
Among the media outlets on which the General appeared included Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg
TV, Fox Business, BBC World, Dow Jones and The New York Sun.
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The Boreland Group is a public relations firm in NY that creates and implements performance-driven public relations programs that deliver results.
U.S. Naval Institute
Major N.Y. City