Situation: Bell Helicopter Textron embarked on a project to revitalize and expand its Fort Worth headquarters in 2011. A new headquarters and remodeled campus were high priorities for the aerospace leader and identified as key corporate objectives in order to attract and retain top talent. Bell additionally wanted to consolidate operations at its Fort Worth headquarters and make a significant research and development investment to better position itself in an increasingly competitive global industry. In order to accomplish these objectives and remain in Fort Worth, Bell Helicopter was seeking public incentives to make the ambitious project economically feasible. Bell Helicopter enlisted OCG PR to help guide its outreach and communications activities in this endeavor.
Action: OCG PR quickly assessed the situation and wrote a detailed communications plan and timeline to guide Bell's approach to a politically delicate situation. In a difficult economic climate and with the public souring on public incentives for private companies, it was essential to make a larger case that this deal would benefit the entire community and have positive ripple effects throughout the local economy. OCG PR helped Bell identify key strengths to emphasize in its negotiations and public statements and advised Bell on the sequencing of meetings with local decision-makers and opinion leaders. In addition, OCG PR advised Bell on media relations and how to best present the deal to local news media and editorial boards.
Value Added: Bell successfully made the case to the City of Fort Worth and to Tarrant County that its expansion plan was a sound investment: the Fort Worth City approved a 20-year, $13.5 million tax abatement package and Tarrant County adopted a $4.4 million package to help defray the costs of Bell Helicopter's $235 million total investment in the campus. The successful campaign to secure public support for this project ensures that Bell Helicopter will continue to make its home in Tarrant County for decades to come.