NYSAC Recognized for Excellence in Public Affairs

Rescuing 911 Campaign receives MARCOM Award


Corning Place Communications (CPC), an Albany-based strategic communications firm, together with the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC), were honored at the 2017 Capital Region MARCOM Awards competition. Held on Thursday, November 16, at Proctors in Schenectady, this annual event pays tribute to excellence in the field of communications.

In the Public Affairs Campaign category, the Rescuing 911 campaign won a MARCOM Award. Conducted on a statewide basis, the campaign's objective was to secure a dedicated funding stream from New York state government that would enable counties to maintain and upgrade their 9-1-1 emergency communication systems. The campaign demonstrated that dated 9-1-1 infrastructure was unable to keep up with rapidly changing technologies, which help county officials and first responders meet the public safety needs residents in virtually every county in the state. Ultimately, the campaign resulted in $14 million being appropriated in the 2017-18 state budget for the dedicated purpose of 9-1-1 system upgrades and new equipment.

"For several years, we have known that county 9-1-1 centers were lacking the financial support needed to keep up with the way New Yorkers are calling and texting for emergency help," said Stephen J. Acquario, executive director of NYSAC. "The Rescuing 9-1-1 Campaign was designed to inform the Governor, state lawmakers, county officials, and the public through media outlets that dedicated funding is essential to effectively serve the public. Our clarion call was heard by state lawmakers last year and they wisely dedicated more funding from the public safety surcharge on cell phones for county 9-1-1 centers. Corning Place helped us amplify our voice in every media market the state and incorporated the use of video, enabling our advocates to appeal directly to the community as well as illustrate the authenticity of the campaign."

During the legislative process, NYS Senator Fred Akshar was the primary champion for this issue, insuring that 9-1-1 funding was addressed in the 2017-18 budget. 

"It was critical that we dedicated resources that will continue to ensure our local 9-1-1 communications systems are up-to-date and reliable. All New Yorkers depend on these systems in emergency situations, and we cannot afford to let them go under-funded," said Senator Fred Akshar, who championed the proposal in the State Senate.

"The State of New York listened to Senator Akshar and our local leaders, and dedicated more funding for these critical public safety communication systems. We are grateful to the Senator and to his colleagues in the Senate and Assembly for seeing that this funding made it into the NYS Budget," said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario.

"We have had tremendous success positioning clients to succeed," said Paul Larrabee, managing director of CPC.  "We approach every campaign with a simple premise - What is your objective? Then we listen carefully to the response. It's not about spin and stunts - but rather making sure your voice is heard, message compelling, and the solution viable."