Since 2001, The Rendon Group (TRG) has been providing strategic communications counsel, training and mentoring to a foreign government and US military personnel on geopolitical issues impacting a specific Area of Operations (AOR).
Although the foreign government was making strides in its counter-narco-terrorism efforts, its ability to effectively communicate programmatic and operational successes to key domestic and international audiences was limited. As a result of these inadequate communications efforts, public opinion was low and international support was lagging. Recognizing this challenge, the US Government funded a wide-ranging strategic communications program to provide the training and counsel the foreign government needed to effectively communicate its goals, objectives, and successes.
TRG developed a multi-tiered capability designed to enable the foreign government to meet its counter-narco-terrorism information objectives. This initiative included Strategic Communications Planning and Training that enabled foreign government officials to develop, implement, and sustain numerous comprehensive strategic public communications programs targeted at domestic and international (non-US) audiences.
TRG recruited a team of foreign national strategic communications experts and embedded them inside key ministries and the Office of the President to provide senior officials and staff with day-to-day counsel, mentoring, training, and implementation. This model enabled TRG to transfer specific information and skill sets to key officials and their functionaries inside the government through on-the-job and classroom training. TRG’s embedded team also collaborated with a team in TRG’s Washington, DC office to develop strategic and crisis communications planning, content generation, content dissemination, rapid response, and information coordination. TRG’s support also included an in-depth media analytics component, which informed all aspects of strategic planning, messaging, communications themes, and tactical products.
TRG trained foreign government officials on the value of polls and focus groups in the development of strategic plans. TRG also assisted in the drafting of security and defense narratives to reflect the governments’ will to increase pressure on narco-terrorist organizations and strengthen regional and international cooperation against transnational criminal organizations. TRG supported the government’s efforts to communicate the reform process as a means to strengthen the State’s legitimacy and increase its capacity to fulfill the needs of the people in a way to counter drug trafficking, insurgency, and other related illegal activities. TRG developed and supported campaigns built on a centralized and coordinated message of consolidating security gains against narco-terrorism to facilitate the transition to democratic prosperity and permanently defeating drug trafficking and terrorism. TRG also supported efforts to communicate foreign policy priorities, including the need to increase regional and international cooperation against drug trafficking, terrorism, and other forms of transnational crime.
Foreign government senior officials and staff showed significant empirical improvements in strategic communications skill sets, including but not limited to the development of complex international strategic communications plans, greatly improved media outreach and engagement, and creating and disseminating multi-purpose information products. Further, polling indicated significant improvements in public opinion of government operations and programs and an increase in international support and recognition for successful counter-narco-terrorism efforts.