Spitfire Strategies

The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF) approached Spitfire for support in developing a strategy for communicating about a settlement with Target.

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund

LDF was helping to represent two complainants who had been discriminated against by Target through the use of overly broad criminal background checks. These criminal background checks are often used a proxy for race, because people of color have disproportionate contact with the criminal justice system and are, therefore, more likely to be flagged in a criminal background check – even when the flag is not related to the job or stems from old charges.

Our goal was to make a big splash so other corporations could not ignore this settlement – and we succeeded.

Target had notified LDF that they were going to settle the case, but the timing was unknown. So, Spitfire worked with LDF to prepare an advance strategy for communicating about the case that could be deployed once the settlement was filed. Since LDF works primarily to achieve nationwide change, the strategy focused on using Target as an example for other large companies about why they should do away with these broad criminal background checks. Our goal was to make a big splash so other corporations could not ignore this settlement – and we succeeded.

Spitfire generated a strong media list, secured an exclusive in The New York Times, and helped pitch the piece to secure coverage in other national outlets including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Consumer Affairs, The Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, Bloomberg, and CNN Money. We also received strong coverage in regional outlets including The New York Daily News, The Tampa Bay Times, and Target’s own home newspaper, The Minneapolis Star Tribune. Further, the conversation continued on social media, with a reach of nearly 95 million people.

Spitfire Tools Used

“This is a truly transformative program and there is no question that it is preparing leaders to be courageous communicators.”

- Colleen Bailey, Executive Director, The National Steinbeck Center

Getting Your Story Covered: Tips for Top-Notch Media Pitching Part Two

Mike Carter-Conneen

By Mike Carter-Conneen
Director

  In the first installment of this two-part series, I shared some insights from my years working in TV news and media relations, focusing on the best methods to get your pitches seen by reporters. In this part, I review some strategies for increasing the odds those reporters will actually… (read more)

An E.D.’s Guide to Essential Strategic Communication Know-How, Compliments of Spitfire’s Executive Leadership Program

Kristen Grimm

By Kristen Grimm
President

  I’ve been working with a number of new executive directors this past year. After years of hard work, or in some instances, after waking up from a dream about a new organization that MUST exist, these people found themselves with all eyes on them. From the moment they updated… (read more)

COAL + ICE: Overcoming Barriers to Spark Climate Action

AnaChristina Arana

By AnaChristina Arana
Account Coordinator

  “One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from the [IPCC] report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working… (read more)

Sign up to receive Spitfire Sparks

You’ll receive our latest smarts on the causes you care about and updates on our free tools.