DC Influencer: Erin Streeter, National Association of Manufacturers

Erin Streeter, SVP, comms, National Association of Manufacturers, outlines the campaign to maintain intellectual property protections.

Why are US-India relations important to the association?
Manufacturers need a level playing field to compete in the global economy. We had concerns about India weakening intellectual property protections that US manufacturers depend on. We have been concerned about preferential market access for domestic industries, retroactive taxation, and compulsory licensing.

How did you create a conversation?
We launched the Alliance for Fair Trade with India with the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center and other business associations.

We leveraged our Twitter handle, @ShopFloorNAM, to reach policymakers and the administration and created the hashtags, #IndiaPlayFair and #MFGtrade, for followers who were interested in that issue.

When India’s then-prime minister, Manmohan Singh, came to the US last September, we developed digital and creative ads in airports in DC and New York, so people, especially international travelers, could see our messaging.

Before Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden visited India, we sent letters to Congress and the administration. In tandem, the association’s social platforms aggregated and pushed out news coverage and our own content to amplify our messages.

What results did you see?
The former ambassador to the US from India, Nirupama Rao, engaged with us on Twitter. She has more than 200,000 followers on the platform, so we got our messages in front of those people, too.

Our earned media effort spurred coverage in India, which created more conversations back in DC. This elevated the issue as a key priority to be addressed in discussions between the two nations.

We leveraged Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, as well as our syndicated ShopFloor blog content, news, and integrated digital ad campaigns, all of which was leveraged to pull in and push out content from our coalition partners, relevant policymakers, stakeholders,
and influencers.

At the start, we focused on the DC crowd, but as we learned, we can have a global impact, too. We’ve been mentioned in more than 59 major publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Reuters, and Bloomberg. We also received coverage in top-tier Indian outlets such as Press Trust of India and The Times of India. It showed that India was paying attention.  

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