Foundation backs documentary to raise US budget awareness

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation officially launched in mid-July, carrying $1 billion in pledged funding from its founder, a senior chairman at Blackstone Group, worth $2.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Objective: The Peter G. Peterson Foundation officially launched in mid-July, carrying $1 billion in pledged funding from its founder, a senior chairman at Blackstone Group, worth $2.5 billion, according to Forbes. The purpose is to raise public awareness and support for a solution to the budget deficit carried by the US and related economic burdens, like healthcare, social security, energy consumption, and education funding.

Idea: Because the issues PGPF deals with are diffuse, its directors saw the filming of a documentary on US' debt crisis as a way to attract interest and support from lawmakers, the media, advocacy groups, and the public. Called I.O.U.S.A. and directed by Patrick Creadon, the film shows the impact of US debt through archival clips, economic data, and footage that follows former US Comptroller General David Walker on a national speaking tour. "Circumstances are combining in a way that's unfortunate for the country, but help gain attention for our group and what we're trying to do," said Elizabeth Wilner, director of public affairs at PGPF.

Tools: Grassroots Enterprise created two sites, pgpf.org and iousathemovie.com, and is assisting with online outreach. Rubenstein is also providing general media outreach. On August 21, billionaire investor Warren Buffett will participate in a "town hall" discussion of national debt issues, broadcast live to movie theaters around the country. A new "Fiscal Wake-Up Tour" featuring Walker will begin September 26.

Measurement: The number of Web site visitors pledging support, advocacy groups that ally with PGPF and support the documentary, and viewers of the documentary will measure success.

Organization: Peter G. Peterson Foundation (PGPF)

Campaign: Release of I.O.U.S.A documentary

PR team: Internal, Grassroots Enterprise, Rubenstein

Launch: August 22

Budget: Undisclosed

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