The “bad guys” had a secret weapon: PR firms. They were well-funded, well-connected and worked for anyone. David Fenton saw the injustice and founded Fenton because he knew that issue knowledge and expert communications strategies for the “good guys” could level the playing field and help change the world. Since then, PR and communications have evolved. Today, success is much more than a hit in a major newspaper. Our committed, passionate strategists tailor our services to create meaningful content and ideas that connect with your target audiences. Our experts execute campaigns grounded in deep issue knowledge, expert digital and design, thoughtful research insights and media savvy to solve our world’s problems.
Fenton is partnering with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to provide communications support as part of a five-year, $51 million grant to transform Battle Creek Public Schools in Battle Creek, Michigan. Since our partnership began, we’ve turned mostly negative press into positive stories about the district, boosted enrollment in the pre-kindergarten summer program and alternative high school, provided more translated materials and communication to the local Latino and Burmese communities, and created an environment of transparency that continues to improve the district’s reputation, showcase new programs and strengthen community bonds.
Edward Snowden blew the whistle on illegal government mass surveillance and faced decades in prison. His only chance of reprieve, however slim, was a presidential pardon. Fenton developed a comprehensive digital, earned media, partnership and influencer strategy to consolidate public support for pardon and build a global network ready to be tapped in defense of Snowden in the future.
A long time partnership with More Light Presbyterians on multiple campaigns resulted in a majority vote of presbyteries in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to allow same sex marriage.
With Governor Cuomo poised to approve fracking in New York State, Fenton coordinated a coalition of influential artists led by Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon, the founders of Artists Against Fracking. Our multi-tiered advertising campaign raised awareness and attention in New York – specifically Albany – and beyond, resulting in a ban on fracking in New York.
The worst hunger crisis in 60 years, with 13 million people in need of help: sounds like a job for Superman. In fact, the entire superhero Justice League is on the job. Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are fighting hunger in Africa’s horn with the Fenton-created cause campaign “We Can Be Heroes.”
An arcane policy denied women in the military access to abortion care if they were pregnant from rape or incest. The ACLU came to Fenton to secure online ads and social media engagement to push for change, which generated almost 50,000 letters to members of Congress. It worked — and the Shaheen Amendment passed in 2012 with broad bipartisan support.
Alta Gracia, a brand by athletic apparel supplier Knights Apparel, is named for the Dominican Republic town where factory workers earn a “living wage” and have formed a union. Fenton helped create a thriving market for the “living wage” and union-made brand by targeting the U.S. college community. A front-page feature in the New York Times’ Sunday business section earned the brand national prominence.
Before marriage for same-sex couples was legal across the country, San Francisco sparked a national conversation on February 12, 2004 when Mayor Gavin Newsom directed the city and county to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Fenton helped Equality California promote this historic event, including the story of the first wedded couple, Del Martin, 83, and Phyllis Lyon, 80. These and other enduring images from City Hall continue to shape the debate nationwide.
Fenton worked with the Polly Klaas Foundation on a national grassroots and “grasstops” advocacy and media campaign to pass legislation that would create a national AMBER Alert system. Our efforts paid off when President Bush signed federal legislation to create AMBER Alert in all 50 states.
Fenton has worked with MoveOn.org since its founding in 1998. A hard-hitting political message, solid earned media and advertising with a punch led to growth in its user base from 500,000 to 8 million and mobilized a progressive movement that impacted elections for years to come.
After NBC broke the 50-year voluntary ban on televising liquor ads, Fenton and the AMA fired back. Our campaign included a full-page New York Times ad with the headline: “A Message to Parents from the American Medical Association — Warning: Watching NBC May Be Hazardous to Your Children’s Health.” NBC was ultimately pressured to reverse its decision.
Partnering with PEW Research Center and SeaWeb, Fenton organized famous chefs to successfully save swordfish from extinction.
In 1996, Fenton launched the internet’s second site for activism, aptly titled Interactivism.com
Fenton launched the first media project to help environmental groups and activists. It is now called Resource-Media.
Fenton was a founding member of Businesses for Social Responsibility to encourage companies to improve their environmental and labor practices. Today, it is a global network with offices in Asia, Europe and North America and more than 250 member companies committed to sustainable business strategies.
Upon Nelson Mandela’s release from prison after 27 years, Fenton handled media relations for his first American tour. We wanted to help pass sanctions against South Africa. We later served as advisors to his successful 1994 presidential campaign, building on our work on behalf of the African National Congress in the 1980s.
Our campaign against the toxic pesticide Alar in apples created such a groundswell of public opinion — the country literally stopped buying apples — that manufacturer Uniroyal withdrew it from the market. EPA banned it a year later. Sales of organic food took off as a result and have only gone up ever since. Our client was the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Fenton joined forces with advocates to turn ABC’s “The Day After” into a learning moment. Our public education campaign led with the provocative warning, “Don’t watch this movie alone.” Half the country tuned in to watch, a landmark moment in television history and a turning point for the nuclear freeze movement.
Our DC office opened later the same year.