Case Studies

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Launching a thought leadership platform for the era of competition with China

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The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) engaged Pinkston to support the launch of a new independent research organization, the Emerging Technologies Institute (ETI), focused on the next-generation technologies critical to U.S. national security.


NDIA established ETI with a mission to provide leadership, research and public awareness about new technologies critical to military and economic competition in the 21st century, ultimately yielding benefits to the American warfighter and economy. In order to effectively fulfill that mission, ETI needed to establish a reputation for providing independent expertise and for convening leaders from across the national security industry.


Pinkston developed a multi-pronged strategy to help ETI stand out in a city full of think tanks and self-styled experts. Pinkston first worked with ETI leadership to develop messaging that clearly distinguished ETI's unique value and mission. That messaging formed the basis for a new slate of digital content, including a launch video and website. Pinkston conducted direct outreach to defense industry stakeholders and members of the media to generate a steady drumbeat of media coverage in the months before and after ETI's launch.

This media coverage was punctuated by ETI events, which Pinkston used as a platform to amplify ETI's expert credentials. Most notably, Pinkston orchestrated an ETI launch event headlined by Gen. John Hyten, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, several prominent members of the defense media and scores of defense industry executives.


Pinkston helped ETI overcome the hurdles of establishing brand recognition and garnering significant coverage in a crowded media landscape. Additionally, Pinkston built connections between ETI leadership and prominent media, putting the organization on a course to continue leading the national conversation about the issues central to its mission.

Pinkston generated 28 pieces of media coverage in mainstream and defense industry outlets from the ETI launch event alone, including a live broadcast on C-SPAN 2. Pinkston also scheduled introductory meetings for ETI's executive director with journalists or producers at the Washington Post, LA Times, 60 Minutes, Wall Street Journal and more.

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The team at Pinkston has been a great partner in an important effort. They consistently provided excellent and timely service, demonstrating a cheerful can-do approach to our many requests. Their dedication and expertise have been instrumental in securing ample media coverage and amplifying our message. They worked wonders and went above and beyond the call.

Gen. Charles C Krulak
31st Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps