Sikhs hire PR firm to reach out to Americans nationwide

| Washington, US | 1 Feb 2017 | Asia Samachar |
Through research conducted in early 2015, it has been verified that when Americans learn about the key tenets of the Sikh religion, their feelings become far more positive, a media release said. (Reuters)

A United States Sikh group has hired FP1 Strategies in their latest efforts to bolster the community’s image in what has been described as possibly the first time that Sikhs have ‘undertaken a major, proactive effort to reach out to Americans nationwide’.

FP1 is the latest PR agency engaged by the National Sikh Campaign (NSC), a subsidiary of Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE).

NSC has hired FP1 Strategies to develop and implement an effective strategy to improve the perception of Sikhism throughout the US in order to raise the awareness of the Sikh religion and the contributions of Sikh Americans in the US.

In a statement, NSC said its confidence in FP1 is rooted in the firm’s strong track record for assisting immigrant and minority communities since they are one of the lead strategists for Facebook’s immigration reform advocacy group,

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As a nonprofit dedicated to promoting a better understanding of the Sikh community in America, NSC will be partnering with FP1 to launch a major marketing campaign that will focus on increasing the Sikh American community’s presence in national and local news outlets, as well as social media, NSC said in a statement.

“Engaging FP1 was a crucial decision in making our entire strategy complete, and their expertise in reaching conservative Americans will be valuable in expanding our reach beyond our target audience of millennials and progressives,” said Dr. Rajwant Singh, Co-founder and Senior Advisor of NSC, in the same statement. “This is perhaps the first time that any U.S. Sikh community has undertaken a major, proactive effort to reach out to Americans nationwide.”

FP1 is a conservative-leaning Washington, D.C.-based communications firm specializing in public relations and advocacy campaigns, helping major brands, organizations, and nonprofits to help achieve their mission.

FP1’s relationship with conservative media and organizations will also help NSC reach and educate Republican and right-of-center audiences.

NSC has assembled a bipartisan team of agencies and experts that have worked on the Obama, Clinton, Bush, and Romney campaigns, which includes AKPD Message Media, Hart Research Associates, Yellow Line Digital, Skyrocket, and now FP1 Strategies, to raise awareness of Sikhism among the general public in the United States.

NSC is working to launch this campaign in Spring 2017, utilizing tested television advertisements, an innovative website, public relations efforts, targeted digital media, and community events to affect change, the statement added.

“Every step in our plan has been tested to have maximum effectiveness in shifting the perception and driving positive awareness of Sikh Americans,” said Shawn Singh Ghuman, Communications Director of NSC. “We plan to use every tool, channel, and capability in the marketing communications industry to engage our society with the values Sikhism extolls.”

NSC was created to reduce the hate crimes and violence Sikh Americans have faced since 9/11, and their mission has become increasingly important in today’s political and social environment. Through research conducted in early 2015, it has been verified that when Americans learn about the key tenets of the Sikh religion, their feelings become far more positive.

“The professional approach of our different advisors to tackle this difficult issue facing the Sikh American community is very impressive,” said Inderpal Singh, National Outreach Director of NSC. “Hiring agencies like FP1 Strategies is offering us a new way to understand and explain our religion among our neighbors.”

NSC has organized several fundraisers in 2016 in cities throughout the United States, including San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, Denver, CO, Durham, NC, Visalia, CA, and Fresno, CA. The organization has raised over $900,000 to date and hopes to grow that amount in 2017.

“We are extremely thankful to the Sikh community for their support, and we are making sure that we maintain our donors’ confidence in this project by using the funds as best as possible,” said Surinder Singh, Treasurer of NSC. “All funds are strictly being used to pay for the campaign and all donations are being professionally handled and audited by two reputable financial entities.”

NSC said it has continued to gain momentum in the past few months as it steadily reveals its sophisticated ads, website, and cutting edge research to select cities across the country. These materials will lay the foundation for their new, public education initiative set to launch in 2017.

What lies behind the strategy? In one video posting on its website, Dr Rajwant speaks to Isaac Baker of AKPD, described as President Barrack Obama’s media team.

“I think the barriers that sometimes people react to when they see a turban can be overcome when we explain to them the shared values that Americans and Sikh Americans have,” said Baker.

“Television ads are very powerful because they will allow mainstream Americans, from all backgrounds and all geographical locations, to identify with what they are seeing on TV in other Sikh families across the country. In a static billboard or fliers, they are not able to see that interaction. We are to able to see parents attending their kids’ softball games or music recital. We are able to break down some of the barriers of foreignness and differentness.”

Baker believes TV and digital advertising will help the community to ‘show dynamics of family and values at play’.

Founded in 1998, SCORE is dedicated to creating awareness of the Sikh religion and the Sikh people; promoting the positive role of Sikhs in America as well as globally; and upholding the values of religious freedom, civil rights, human dignity, justice, and nature preservation from the perspective of Sikhism. SCORE’s mission is to represent the Sikh viewpoint in public forums, interfaith discussions and throughout governmental agencies to promote community understanding and a just society for all.


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