Alpha Troop's heroic story makes it all the way to the White House

During the Vietnam War, a group known as Alpha Troop was among those that helped save the lives of American soldiers.

Client: 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia
PR agency: Pierpont Communications
Campaign: Alpha Troop
Duration: May-October 2009
Budget: $89,000 ($57,000 pro bono)

During the Vietnam War, a group known as Alpha Troop was among those that helped save the lives of American soldiers. Led by Captain John Poindexter, the group went unrecognized for four decades, until the captain began a six-year campaign to receive commendation for his men.

Strategy
The group turned to Texas-based Pierpont Communications in May 2009 to help build media attention for their tale.

"We wanted to cause a momentum that would make its way to the president," says Clint Woods, VP at Pierpont.

Tactics
Pierpont reached out to national and local outlets, and created a Web site where veterans from the troop could connect across the US. While the communications team remained uninvolved with direct lobbying, Pierpont made a media push to secure national support.

"We sought outlets that would mobilize veterans and get attention from DC," Woods says.

Results
Ultimately, Pierpont earned 350 newspaper stories nationally, including profiles in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

After six months of outreach, President Obama took notice, personally awarding the Alpha Troop veterans the Presidential Unit Citation during a ceremony in the White House's Rose Garden on October 20, 2009.

Future
Though Pierpont no longer works with the veterans group, Woods says his team continues to work with pro bono and nonprofit organizations.

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