The Association of BellTel Retirees
The Association of BellTel Retirees has been a Butler Associates client since early 1997 when it was just a 3,000-member start-up organization. The organization has surpassed 134,000 members and are celebrating their 20th anniversary as a full-time client of our agency.
We have also conceived and helped develop BellTel’s growth strategy, now growing it to become one of the largest and most influential retiree associations in the nation.
Each year Butler Associates has run communications strategies and media relations for the Association’s corporate shareholder proxy efforts waged by the Association, resulting in numerous victories versus a Fortune 50 company.
Their first victory – championed by Butler Associates in 2003 – was the first time a Bell company had lost a proxy since the founding of the Bell system over 125 years ago.
Butler has gained major features and editorials on the Association's efforts in Time Magazine, Business Week, Fortune Magazine, Crain’s New York Business, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, Boston Globe and many more major news outlets across the nation.
The Association also introduced a proxy proposal that would require Verizon to allow its shareholders an advisory vote on executive compensation. The media dubbed it “Say on Pay.” Like most proxy initiatives, the odds were against it passing, especially being proposed by a small shareowner. Butler Associates launched an aggressive national media relations campaign explaining the necessity of giving shareholders a voice in executive compensation. The agency arranged media interviews for Association President William Jones and other spokespeople.
The New York Times and Wall Street Journal each ran three stories during the course of the fight (The Times also did an editorial endorsing our proposal and one story was front page of the business section). Multiple feature stories on the campaign also appeared in the Associated Press, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, Reuters, Crain’s, Baltimore Sun, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Fortune, Financial Week, Albany Times Union, plus a centerfold spread in the AARP Bulletin considered to have the largest circulation of any periodical in the world.
ABTR emerged victorious in their effort for “say on pay." Verizon became the largest publicly traded company in the United States to have such a corporate share-owner proxy succeed against the wishes of the board.
Since being retained as public relations agency of record for this client, Butler Associates has represented the ABTR for some two dozen proxy proposals. A record eight of those proxies have resulted in changes to corporate governance at the company due to the attention they gained in the media.
Association’s shareholder proxies resulted in 8 corporate governance changes at Fortune 50 company
Grew membership over 4,000% during 20-year PR representation