A consortium of esteemed higher ed institutions and international governments sought to install advanced research technology on land that was sacred to the native people of the area. Despite securing the proper permits and legal backing, a protest disrupted the groundbreaking ceremony for the project before any actual construction began. While legal challenges were filed and construction day neared, the protests grew larger and stronger with the support of A-list celebrities. BMCG was retained by the board overseeing the multi-institution and government project to develop a strategic plan to increase public support and change community perceptions.

Actions / Recommendations:

  • Commissioned primary research and polling to better understand stakeholder sentiment
  • Developed messaging architecture, website, paid advertising, and multimedia tools based on research
  • Recommended an earnest and sustained effort of community relations and advocacy to change perceptions


Client declined to implement recommendations, deciding instead to rely on permits, legal standing, and law enforcement in order to proceed with construction plans. BMCG resigned the account. In the years since, the project remains at a standstill and the delay has raised the cost from $1.4 billion to $2 billion—an expense that could have easily funded efforts to build community support. The consortium’s damaged reputation now precedes it, as attempts to find another site for the project have so far failed.