Sergeant First Class Army Ranger Cory Remsburg was wounded by a roadside bomb in 2009, while serving his 10th tour of duty in Afghanistan. Cory suffered life-threatening injuries and was in a coma for more than three months. He has endured numerous surgeries and adheres to a grueling daily physical therapy regime; he remains blind in his right eye and partially paralyzed on his left side. But that hasn’t stopped him from affecting millions of people across the country. Cory is the very definition of a U.S. Ranger; he is a fighter and he never gives up. At the 2014 State of the Union address, Cory received a nearly two minute standing ovation after President Obama recognized Cory for his service to our country and his inspiring fight to recovery. From the moment Cory and his father, Craig Remsburg, left the Capital, the Remsburg family was inundated with media calls. They needed help fielding inquiries and determining which media should have access to more of Cory’s story, which he wanted to focus on educating people about the needs of other wounded vets. Not just himself.
Strategy and Tactics
After fielding more than 50 requests for interviews, we counseled the family and set up interviews for reporters the family felt comfortable inviting into their home and their lives.
Cory and Craig did local interviews, two national taped TV interviews, one live national TV interview, three national print interviews and one national radio interview (see full list below). Cory’s story reached at least 21.96 million television viewers, 80.56 million online viewers, and 25.77 million print viewers, totaling more than 128.29 million viewers. In addition to traditional media views, Cory’s story was shared via social media reaching thousands of Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn likes and shares. It is impossible to believe that anyone exposed to the story could be anything but deeply moved and, equally as important, informed about the need to support wounded vets coming home, even when we aren’t in an active time of war.
CBS New—Interview with Mary Walsh, Pentagon producer; ran on the Sunday Morning show
CNN—interview with Pamela Brown from CNN New Day: ran during CNN New Day, CNN Newsroom, and Erin Burnette Outfront
People Magazine—Interview with Champ Clark
AARP (2)—two large stories, one on caregiving focusing on Craig and his wife Annie’s role in taking care of Cory, and another featuring Cory’s day-to-day struggles and Craig and Annie’s role in helping Cory progress
Katie Couric—live on-air with Katie
NPR—Craig did a taped interview on Caregiving
CBS, Online Exclusive
CNN New Day Blog
Washington Post, Richard Harris
People Magazine—only available in print: Week of June 2, 2014
By: Champ Clark, pages 134-136
“Lovell Communications understands the intricacies of media relations even when the pressure is on. It was important that this story include Cory’s personal appeal for continued support for all wounded veterans…and not just focus on his experience. The folks at Lovell were able to work with national and local media to ensure the coverage they lined up would be respectful, accommodating to our special circumstances and reflective of Cory’s indefatigable strength to overcome what some physicians had thought was impossible. They did an incredible job.”
- Craig Remsburg, Cory’s father
Consider the following five strategies to help your C-suite elevate its board communication and engagement efforts...