Transforming a research and policy driven institution for 21st century campaigning.

For Consumer Reports

The Story

Consumer Reports is a non-profit that runs a top 10 US magazine, a US top 40 website, and brings in over $250M a year in revenue, but it was having difficulty adapting to a fundamentally changed landscape. 

Consumers Union, CR’s large advocacy division, wanted to scale new forms of mobilizing and organizing. But staffing, structures, and culture were still tied heavily to “old power” models, putting a drag on attempts to deploy innovation more widely. 

Our engagement strategy helped Consumers Union’s leadership co-create a new vision for why they needed to grow people power, and how to get there. A social media, online fundraising, and list growth plan mapped an achievable path for channel growth. New roles, team structures, and nudges to internal culture became catalysts for wider organizational change. 

To bring the new engagement vision to life, we helped create a campaign lab to innovate the kind of digital-first campaign that would become the new normal. We closed our engagement by delivering a comprehensive research project on today’s most successful campaigns from across the political spectrum, that served as the blueprint for the advocacy department (and greatly informed our Networked Change Report).

Our multi-year collaboration put CR on a path to change how it approaches advocacy and re-energize the consumer movement by becoming as powerful as the NRA or AARP, while as nimble and networked as today’s most exciting social movements. 

Our Impact

  • Engagement vision led to new strategy for advocacy department, new team roles, organizational structure, and culture
  • Campaign to End Robocalls gained over 600K signatures and served as “campaign lab” and model for  future advocacy efforts
  • Acted as senior advisors to CEO and Senior VP Brand & Strategy on multiple projects
  • Positioned new, integrated CR to run campaigns in alignment with “Networked Change” principles, tools, and tactics