PuMa maintains relationships with strategic influential figures in the media and public and private sectors at the local, state and federal levels.

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PuMa develops tailored strategies that may include public affairs, media relations, and special events. All our strategies supplement each other and have a common goal of achieving desired results.

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PuMa Success Stories

We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished over the years working for a diverse group of clients, from big corporations to community museums. To give you a better idea of what PuMa can do for you, here’s a look at what we’ve helped others achieve.

Corporate Cases

Owens-Corning

Challenge: In 1992, Hurricane Andrew devastated thousands of homes in South Florida. Shortly after the disaster struck, Miami-Dade County government officials blamed materials companies and developers for the collapse of many affected properties, citing insufficient quality standards. With countless lawsuits from homeowners and government officials emerging, Owens-Corning faced the very real threat of possibly destroying all building materials in stock and starting from scratch to create new lines of materials with stricter guidelines.

Solution: After it was determined that the building materials were not the real culprit, Pulles wanted to make sure that Owens was not unfairly blamed for the devastation caused by Andrew. After introducing the client to key Miami-Dade County officials, she convinced the county to hold hearings on the building codes and made the case that the materials and codes were fine, just not being enforced properly. She also worked with Owens-Corning on a presentation to showcase the results of university-led wind/storm studies that proved the roofing tiles were properly built and up to code. Houses that failed in the storm were due to builders who didn’t comply with current codes.

Result: PuMa successfully made the case that the devastation caused by Andrew was due to the combination of tornado and hurricane-force winds and rain-- not faulty materials. The success in Miami-Dade saved homeowners from paying more for housing, and saved Owens-Corning and others from having to needlessly dispose of their stock of building materials and start from scratch. This episode was also closely monitored by Texas, the Carolinas and other hurricane-prone states, who were able to benefit from the outcome in Florida.

 

Eli Lilly and Company

Challenge: According to the ADA, sixty percent of the increase in diabetes prevalence in the United States in the 1990s was attributed to Latinos. At the time there was also a severe shortage of quality Spanish-language information on health issues affecting Hispanics. How could this alarming trend be addressed?

Solution: Pulles created a Spanish-language media plan to create awareness about nutrition and health among Latinos. “The National Diabetes Awareness Campaign” was created to target the growing and dynamic Hispanic market in both the U.S. & Mexico. In addition, Pulles recruited renowned physicians of different Latino backgrounds from California, Texas, Florida, and beyond to serve on a panel. The agenda covered Latino health issues, including nutrition and diabetes prevention and treatment.

Result: The campaign was a huge media success. receiving extensive exposure in both U.S. and Latin American publications. Eli Lilly was so impressed with the results in Miami that they asked that it be expanded to five additional markets, including Los Angeles, Houston, New York, Chicago, and Phoenix.

 

Cultural Affairs

Smithsonian Affiliations Cultural Alliance

Challenge: To increase efficiency among Smithsonian affiliates throughout the nation, maximize resources, and expand audience exposure.

Solution: Pulles created a Hispanic marketing concept for the Smithsonian, which included a plan to get like-minded affiliates to work together and help them share resources (including collections, artifacts, exhibits, programs, etc.). This enabled the museums to efficiently circulate resources to different venues, expand to new markets, and better utilize funding by eliminating project duplication.

Result: Smithsonian secretary Larry Small described the alliance as “the most important national outreach initiative the Smithsonian has ever had.” By strategically turning a local project into a national project, Pulles helped local museums reach a greater audience, increase membership, and earn more visitors and publicity. The national scope of the project and the target market enabled the Smithsonian to secure a national underwriter: Pulles successfully pitched AARP and received a $300,000 gift for the program’s implementation.

 

Princess Diana Dress Exhibition

Challenge: Two weeks before the 1999 exhibit was to take place PuMa was contacted to handle all public relations and communications for the show, to take place at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.

Solution: Pulles launched the exhibit with a press conference that was attended by all major national and international media outlets. In addition, she created a successful community relations program and media launch for the opening of the dress exhibition. Because Princess Diana was an advocate for children, PuMa organized a special event to benefit the local Boys & Girls Club of Washington, D.C. Children enjoyed a continental breakfast at the historic Willard Hotel, followed by a private tour of the show. Red Cross President Elizabeth Dole and First Lady Hillary Clinton were represented at the event, which culminated in a $50,000 check presented to the Boys & Girls Club.

Result: The exhibition and corresponding benefit received top-notch media coverage, including a photo on the front page of the Washington Post, and raised $50,000 for the local Girls & Boys Club of D.C. Despite having only two weeks to organize everything, the event came together seamlessly. A gracious client thanked Pulles for “walking on water.”

 

Selena at the Smithsonian

Challenge: Expand museum’s holding of culturally-relevant items, specifically those for the U.S. Hispanic market.

Solution: Billboard named Selena Quintanilla-Pérez the "top Latin artist of the '90s" and "Best selling Latin artist of the decade" for her fourteen top-ten singles on the Latin charts, including seven number-one hits. Recognizing Selena’s significance to the Latino community, Margaret secured the donation of her famous pantsuit to the Smithsonian. Pulles launched a successful mega media/special event for the unveiling of the artifact at the America’s Smithsonian exhibition in Houston, Texas.

Result: Selena’s pantsuit drew thousands of visitors and received major national and international media coverage. The legacy of the “Queen of Tejano Music" will continue to live on with the preservation of her famous outfit by the nation’s most prominent cultural museum.

 

City of Miami

Miami-Dade Expressway Authority

Challenge: In anticipation of a toll hike, the city of Miami wanted to ensure that the public would be receptive to the fee increase and understand why it was necessary.

Solution: Pulles created several information and media campaigns in English, Spanish and Creole, including “Your Tolls at Work” which explained how funds are utilized to improve mobility. Campaign consisted of:

  1. Weekly television and radio program appearances;
  2. PSA radio campaigns;
  3. Banners and signage throughout the expressway system;
  4. Community relations activities and sponsorship opportunities;
  5. Government relations;
  6. Improvements to highway assistance programs, including the Neighbor 4 Neighbor Hurricane Victim campaign, which converted toll booths to donation booths for specific dates and donated those monies to support hurricane victims.

Result: Campaign was so effective that MDX never received any complaints or calls against the increase, unlike past increases that resulted in numerous complaints and resistance. MDX also won the NBC Channel 4 award for Best Community Service Campaign.

 

Burson-Marsteller “Winning Back Miami"

Challenge: 1992 was a particularly dismal year for Miami crime. Several German tourists were killed, followed by a few carjackings and robberies that, while not fatal, further hurt a city whose image was already suffering from a post hurricane Andrew slump in tourism.

Solution: Pulles and her team created a high-profile community relations initiative designed to address issues of constituent concern and raise the profile of the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller. The “Winning Back Miami” campaign addressed crime, drugs, public safety, public transportation, public housing, and education. A Blue Ribbon Committee was established to develop recommendations to address issues of crime and safety. Pulles secured an energetic and charismatic commissioner to chair, a county commissioner who helped appoint an elite group of educators, public safety officials and others to the committee. These university officials, directors of public housing, and other community leaders engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the public and participated in a public safety workshop from which many solutions were proposed and implemented. In addition, a workshop breakfast was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Miami. About 500 people came to the sold-out event, including elected officials and representatives from the Senator’s and Governor’s offices. The public was invited to join in a forum to discuss key safety issues and recommend a plan for addressing concerns.

Result: Sold-out breakfast workshop achieved excellent feedback. Campaign received extensive positive editorial coverage. A final report was submitted to the governor of Florida and local elected officials. Many of the recommendations were instituted, including:

  1. Bicycle police;
  2. Sun stripes and signage from airport to the beaches;
  3. Mobile phones for rent at airport car rental agencies;
  4. Information hotline.

Several of the practices recommended in the final document are still in place and continue to positively effect the city of Miami today, nearly two decades later.

 

Latino Outreach

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Challenge: The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had been receiving a proportionately low number of complaints from Hispanics. This was not, however, due to an absence of discrimination. Rather, it was instead attributed to a lack of Latino-specific outreach and information. Many national Latino organizations, including the NCLR, were concerned that the EEOC only addressed non-Latino issues of discrimination. Upset by this, they had begun to complain to Congress.

Solution: The EEOC needed to reach the Latino market and communicate the agency’s offerings. To do this, Pulles singlehandedly produced an Americans with Disabilities Act public service announcement in English and Spanish, drafting and recording the script, securing probono studio time, and distributing to Spanish-language affiliate stations. The PSA aired successfully, at no cost, in all major media markets, as well as on Spanish networks Univisión and Telemundo. Additionally, Pulles translated all EEOC materials so that Spanish speakers could access the information, and provided national Latino organizations and their affiliates across the country with these materials. Recipients included the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF), among others. Pulles also connected with the U.S. Department of Education to provide Latino students with information on their rights and ensure that future generations did not have to suffer discrimination helplessly.

Result: The campaign helped promote the Americans with Disabilities Act and educate the public on this new law, passed by President George H.W. Bush. Congress commended the outreach after the EEOC commissioner testified on its behalf. This groundbreaking initiative brought Spanish-speaking representatives to the EEOC for the first time, and also marked the first time the agency addressed Spanish-speaking inquires. In addition, the Latino community received a wealth of information on understanding and protecting their rights. EEOC regional offices began training high school seniors to educate them on discrimination and inform them of their rights, thus helping to prepare them for a better future in the workforce.