Scott Circle has been working with NOW for the past five years, helping to raise both the profile of its president, Terry O’Neill, and the issues that NOW has been working on for 50 years such as economic justice, ending violence against women and access to healthcare. When news started to break regarding the NFL, domestic violence and the infamous Ray Rice video, Scott Circle worked with NOW to devise a communications strategy that would allow NOW and Ms. O’Neill to bring the issue of domestic violence to forefront of national media, while solidifying NOW as a leading organization for women’s rights.
By working collaboratively with NOW and creating a message that not only called for Goodell’s resignation, but also asked for the NFL to conduct an investigation into their domestic violence problem, our team was able to react to news quickly and release a statement to the media within 24 hours of the second “Ray Rice” video being released. NOW was the first organization to call for the commissioner’s resignation and within the next three days, Ms. O’Neill appeared on every network news outlet and numerous cable outlets, as well as in wire reports and national newspapers such as USA Today and The New York Times. The issue of domestic violence awareness became a prominent topic of conversation to the point that even the host of Thursday night football, James Brown, dedicated almost five minutes at the beginning of the game to the issue of domestic violence. And, President Obama’s spokesperson was even forced to answer a question on whether the president was also going to call for the commissioner’s resignation.
Although Commissioner Goodell has not resigned yet, NOW still partially achieved their goal – to bring attention to the fact that domestic violence is a tremendous problem in our country – especially within the NFL. Reporters are still calling on NOW to comment on a variety of domestic violence issues – from legislation to speaking about other sports personalities, such as Floyd Mayweather, Jr.