In 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prepared to overhaul federal funding for rural wireless communications. U.S. Cellular, the nation’s fifth-largest wireless carrier, brought Grisko on board to fight a proposal that would have crippled funding for mobile broadband deployment in rural communities. Telecom experts considered the proposal a done deal, but through media relations, coalition building, stakeholder engagement and press events, Grisko and U.S. Cellular proved them wrong.
Grisko led a three-month, 14-state public affairs and public relations campaign and formed a coalition of hundreds of business leaders, elected officials and first responders. The coalition rallied local and national support for wireless funding in rural areas, while providing a powerful, unified voice in key congressional districts.
We created and managed the campaign’s branding and website and rallied supporters to contact members of Congress about the need for dependable, high-speed mobile broadband. Advocates sent thousands of letters to congress and the FCC. The campaign also reached key decision makers through targeted ads in trade press and on Facebook, and through social media.
The campaign resulted in a tremendous outpouring of public support, newspaper editorials and stories in community, state and national outlets. Shortly after, the FCC passed reform that helped secure more than $600 million in annual federal funding for mobile broadband.
The reform enabled providers to build out reliable networks in the rural communities that need wireless access most.