CLIENT — The single largest non-construction contract in the State of Louisiana’s history was awarded to ICF International in 2006. ICF worked with the State to manage the CDBG-funded homeowner and rental assistance programs known as Louisiana’s Road Home Program following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Franklin was tasked with creation and implementation of community and government relations plans spanning Louisiana and fifteen other states.
APPROACH — In order to develop a foundation of trust with anticipated program applicants throughout Louisiana and in 15 additional states, Franklin created and utilized statewide coalitions to locate, communicate and assist Louisiana’s disaster affected and/or displaced populations. Franklin’s team reduced impersonal methods of communication which hampered the program by offering opportunities for personal interactions within affected communities.
When complex program intricacies stalled thousands of applicants, Franklin spear-headed efforts to bring issue resolution experts from its client as well as from the affiliated State offices directly to applicants in the field to facilitate applicants’ abilities to meet program requirements.
To more directly facilitate inquiry responses to legislative and other elected officials, Franklin’s team drove the process for development of escalated issue resolution mechanisms and processes which were then replicated throughout the program.
RESULTS — Designed and implemented more than 1,900 face to face interactions, including public meetings, town hall meetings, and one-on-one issue resolution events , personally reaching more than 89,000 people; Dedicated legislative response mechanisms increased issue resolution levels, thereby decreasing issues elevation from elected officials and reducing negative media coverage.