Creative, strategic and inclusive public relations to spread the word about a COVID relief program for Black Oregonians – plus a pivot to defend the program publicly when challenged in court.
The Oregon Cares Fund
In July 2020, the Oregon Legislature passed The Oregon Cares Fund, directing $62 million in COVID-relief funds to Black Oregonians. Gard helped Oregon’s Black leaders and nonprofit The Contingent launch, publicize and defend the fund. Our strategy began with a deep dive into the economic research and media landscape, plus writing and interview prep. It paid off with nearly 200 media clips secured, including more than 60 in the national press and a front-page story in the New York Times. We also secured op-eds defending the fund and several news articles highlighting fund recipients across the state. In the end, Gard helped TOCF continue providing all of the designated COVID-relief funds to Black Oregonians and presented the fund in a positive light even in the face of legal challenges.
- Media relations
- Media pitching
- Crisis communications
- Interview coordination
Selected Media Coverage
MSNBC Live with Yasmin | February 2, 2021Black leaders demand targeted federal funds for Black businesses hit hard by pandemic
New York Times | January 3, 2021A Covid-19 Relief Fund Was Only for Black Residents. Then Came the Lawsuits.
Portland Business Journal | December 9, 2020Business groups announce support for fund that supports Black businesses, Oregonians
The Oregonian | December 7, 2020Federal judge rejects second effort to block state's $62 million fund for Black Oregonians
The Oregonian | November 14, 2020State’s $62 million relief fund for Black Oregonians is a unique, and possibly fleeting, experiment in social justice
The Oregonian | August 28, 2020New, $62 million fund for Black Oregonians attracts nearly 7,000 applicants in 4 days
The Skanner | August 25, 2020Applications are Now Live for COVID-19 Relief Fund for the Black Community
KGW | August 24, 2020Applications open for COVID-19 relief fund for Black community