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Reaching Millions, Sikhs Plan the Next Media Campaign in America

NSC and its supporters held their national meeting to discuss and launch the next phase of the Sikh media campaign

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Washington, December 10, 2017 – The National Sikh Campaign (NSC) and its supporters gathered for their national meeting in Washington to discuss and launch the next phase of the Sikh media campaign to create awareness about Sikhs in America. Washington's famous Mayflower hotel was the venue for this gathering which brought 30 Sikhs from all over the country and several joined over the phone for discussions. NSC is negotiating with a media firm connected to Hollywood to make creative videos and a reputable film company to create a documentary for the American TV stations. All present at this meeting endorsed both of the proposals in addition to engaging Sikh communities across the United States in grass roots efforts.

NSC's hired media and marketing companies presented their findings regarding the reach of the campaign and the results of the polls. Organizers and many who joined were satisfied with the results.

FP1 Strategies, a marketing company working for NSC, shared their findings regarding the overall Sikh media campaign reach. According to them, this effort has made more than 92 million impressions throughout the country.

  • 46.3 million impressions through national television advertising on CNN, Fox News and Fox Business Network
  • 28.8 million impressions through local television advertising in Fresno, California
  • 10.5 million impressions through social media channels
  • 6.4 million impressions through digital advertising

There were over 600,000 followers on twitter of the campaign.

In April, The National Sikh Campaign (NSC) had launched We Are Sikhs ad campaign and grass roots efforts to reach out to Americans. Through national and regional television advertising, social media outreach and targeted digital advertising, the effort made over 92 million impressions.

“With limited funding, we were able to spread our message of unity and help Americans in every corner of the country better understand who their Sikh neighbors are and what we stand for,” said Dr. Rajwant Singh, Co-Founder & Senior Adviser “These impressive results are a testament to the hard work that went into the campaign and we are grateful to everyone who helped tell our story.” He added, "Hundreds of Sikhs across contributed wholeheartedly to make this campaign possible. We are confident that the community will support next phase as well."

Nick Sahota, NSC's team member from Fresno, said, "The campaign has shown tremendous results in our city. Many have stopped Sikhs on the streets and have thanked them for their presence."

Amritpal Singh, NSC's Team member from Visalia, said, "I have so many stories of people stopping to tell how they appreciate Sikhs. I had a 92 year old women come and give me hug and shared how her Sikh husband had to leave in 1928 because of the discrimination he faced. She herself supported the campaign."

Gurwin Singh Ahuja, Executive Director of NSC, said, "Even amidst recent racial tensions and political polarization in America, an awareness effort led by the National Sikh Campaign has created more awareness of the Sikh faith community and an improved perception of the turban." He added, "We will launch the next phase of this continuous effort in 2018." NSC held fundraising events in 14 cities to garner support from the community and the total cost of this campaign has cost $1.3 Million.

Gurvinder Singh Rekhi who appeared in the Sikh ad, said, "We have to have a strategic plan which is responding to needs of the community and this is certainly a great executed strategy."

This media campaign was a response to recent statistics that showed Sikhs in America are common targets of discrimination, intimidation, harassment and hate crimes because of their outward physical appearance and a fundamental misunderstanding of the faith and what the turban represents.

Sikhs had hired leading marketing and PR firms. The messaging and the overall strategy was developed by AKPD, the firm which led President Obama’s famous 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, Hart Research Associates, which does strategy work for the World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Harvard University, and FP1 Strategies, a conservative and Republican leaning marketing team which led President Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaign. FP1 Strategies has also done marketing for Facebook advocacy efforts and Ford Motor Company. President Bill Clinton's speech writer planned and edited the content of the website WeAreSikhs.org.

According to polls presented at the meeting by Corrie Hunt of the Hart Research Associates, "57 percent who saw the ads are also more likely to associate a bearded man wearing a turban with Sikhism. 59 percent of Fresno residents – a clear majority – say they know at least something about Sikhs who live in America. 68% saw Sikhs as good neighbors and 64% saw Sikhs as generous and kind." She added, "After the campaign, there are still lot of people that we need to reach that we didn't touch. There is still more work to be done."

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