Case Studies

Winning Legislation…

During the past year, more about Howell put together a bipartisan lobbying team to successfully pass a pension reform bill that protected employees during conversions to less-rich defined benefit pension plans. The capability to understand and communicate complex ERISA provisions to media and Hill staff was an important component of the strategy. She also helped to pass a much-needed postal reform bill in the waning days of the 109th Congress, overcoming late stage blocking by some members in the Senate.

Corporate Public Relations…

On the public relations front, Howell dealt with a crisis communications challenge involving a client who was the subject of a $2 million Securities and Exchange Commission fine. The media strategy she put together resulted in minimal reputational damage to the company. She later handled the communications component of an acquisition involving that company, and public relations to promote the company’s investment research products. Publications such as U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Barron’s, and other newspapers relied on the analysts she represented for expert commentary, and she also obtained opportunities for them on CNBC, Bloomberg, NPR and other broadcast media outlets. The public relations campaign she orchestrated resulted in an increase of hits to the company’s website, repeated visibility with the national media and an increase in product sales.

Other Case Studies

Media Outreach…

When one of the nation’s top litigation firms, Korein Tillery (KT), brought the first consumer fraud class action suit against Philip Morris on the fraudulent labeling of light cigarettes, KT chose Cambridge founder Joy Howell to level the playing field between the powerful tobacco lobby and the consumer victims. As a result of Howell’s intense media outreach campaign, the consumer message was reflected in media coverage of the trial despite a long standing campaign by Philip Morris to stifle any opposing views. The trial resulted in a record $10 billion judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.

Corporate Marketing…

After numerous Wall Street scandals including Enron and Worldcom, Precursor CEO Scott Cleland recognized an opportunity to place an emerging third category of investment research into the spotlight: investorside research. Unlike buyside and sellside, investorside research prioritizes investor interests over company interests. By enlisting Howell to champion his cause, he succeeded in building the Investorside Research Association to 50 members in 18 months and capturing market share from traditional investment research firms.

Government Relations…

Through Howell’s work with the financial services industry, she was at the forefront of the public policy debate that resulted in the Sarbanes Oxley Act. The legislation and regulatory implementation has created an inflection point for all publicly traded companies and their professional service providers. As a result, Howell has been engaged by industry associations to provide government relations guidance. In addition, she has published two articles exploring the implications of Sarbanes Oxley in the Harvard Business Review’s newsletter and in NASDAQ magazine.