by Ashley Sanislo Casey, IIUSA Associate Director of Advocacy
Over the last 2 and a half years, most of the conversations within the EB-5 Regional Center industry have centered around advocacy for reform and reauthorization, in one form or another, of the EB-5 Program. This has largely been big picture conversations on Capitol Hill, at EB-5 industry conferences, and in the national media, discussing the Program’s impact on the country and ways to reform it to make it stronger and more sustainable for the future. What is sometimes lost in these important interactions, however, are the many economic development success stories at the regional and local levels and that go beyond the headlines.
IIUSA set out to improve the perception of the EB-5 program through a comprehensive public relations strategy that targets local and regional audiences. The strategy seeks to reach the communities that are positively affected by EB-5 economic development through opinions pieces, op-eds, and letters to the editor. This approach allows the author to cut through the noise surrounding the larger conversations around EB-5, and get down to the facts: EB-5 is creating jobs, driving development, and boosting local economies – all at no cost to the taxpayer. And most importantly, this message is reaching the people who see the success of EB-5 in their everyday lives and may not even know the Program exists to serve their communities.
To amplify this messaging, IIUSA leverages its social media and digital communications to further spread the content through engagement on these platforms with our members, other EB-5 stakeholders, and the general public. Additionally, IIUSA closely monitors all media coverage of EB-5 and gives this same treatment to others who felt compelled to spread the positive message of the Program through their own opinion pieces and op-eds. Most importantly, these articles help correct the unfair characterizations of the Program and illustrate how it continues to provide economic assistance to the communities that need it most.