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Home Front Communications

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Home Front Communications is a small Washington D.C. based PR company that specialises in the production and distribution of video news releases.

In early 2004, Home Front Communications was identified as the company that produced two video news releases for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services promoting the benefits of the controversial Medicare drug law. The VNRs featured scripts produced by the administration with PR consultants Karen Ryan and Alberto Garcia posing as 'journalists' doing what purported to be interviews. [1] The Government Accountability Office later ruled that the VNRs had "violated the restriction on using appropriated funds for publicity or propaganda purposes." [2]

Clients and projects

In 1999 the company was awarded a two-month contract worth $51,844 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) for the "production and distribution of television messages to encourage enrollment in CHIP," the Children's Health Insurance Program. [1]

Other Home Front work for the RWJF, done in conjunction with Burness Communications from 2003 through mid-September 2007, includes producing and distributing "86 broadcast material packets to television stations and/or radio stations highlighting health and health care issues important to RWJF and featuring RWJF grantees and their work," reaching "more than 684-million viewers." RWJF noted, "Much of the content was utilized by stations in the top 20 or 50 markets." [3] In 2004, Home Front produced a VNR on school-based healthcare for RWJF that "aired 108 times on 85 television stations nationally, to an estimated 2.7 million viewers." [4]

In 2000 the company was granted $38,100 to run a "television-based public awareness campaign" on new Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations pain standards. "The American Alliance for Cancer Pain Initiatives (AACPI) will use the implementation of these new standards to help raise awareness among the general public about the options available to treat pain. With this grant, Home Front Communications will create a local television video news feed that is anticipated to result in local television news features that raise awareness of the pain issue in selected media markets. Home Front Communications will work directly with AACPI for content direction and contribution," an outline of the project stated.[2]

The pain standards VNR was used "to create 242 stories in 104 markets across 39 states," reaching "10,760,800 viewers on 137 stations," according to the foundation's assessment of the project. "The estimates of what the news coverage would have cost if purchased ranged from a low of $87,340 to a high of $349,360." [3]

In October 2003 the company was employed to distribute a video news release for The Eye Surgery Education Council - described as the educational arm of American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. [4]

In late 2007, Home Front produced a 60-second video for the Transportation Security Administration. The video was "distributed by the agency for use in airports nationwide" and is "intended to streamline security for throngs of holiday travelers," reported the Washington Post. Home Front was paid $10,000 for the video, which the firm's Dan Sallick called "very cost-efficient. ... Spots like this for government agencies can cost two to three times this much." [5]

Personnel

According to a brief profile accompanying its endorsement of a telecom company, Home Front Communications has a staff of six people and was co-founded by Paul Frick. [5]

A video production coordinator job opening with the firm posted in August 2007 said that duties would include "helping to coordinate in-house and field b-roll shoots, logging field tapes, and coordinating scripts and tapes for distribution to various feeder services (CNN, CBS, Newsmarket)," in addition to "maintain Home Front’s tape library and support producers on special video projects as needed." [6]

Contact information

Home Front Communications
2030 M Street, NW Suite 750
Washington D.C.
Phone: 202-544-8400
Fax: 202-544-5448

SourceWatch resources

External links

References

  1. Robert Pear, "U.S. Videos, for TV News, Come Under Scrutiny", New York Times, March 15, 2004.
  2. Government Accountability Office, "Ruling: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services -- Video News Releases," May 19, 2004.
  3. "Broadcast Health Series Highlights the Work of RWJF and its Grantees to Improve Health and Health Care: Grant Results," Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, November 2007, accessed December 2007.
  4. "Parents Overwhelmingly Support In-School Health Programs," Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, July 2004, accessed January 2008.
  5. Rachel Dry, "Many Layers Of Security, One Layer Of Stuff," Washington Post, November 21, 2007.

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