Indiana's economic development and tourism agencies announced Monday they have hired global PR firm Porter Novelli to help rebuild the state's image in the wake of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act debacle.
The state will spend the coming days building a public relations strategy with the firm and stakeholders across the state and plans to spend $2 million with Porter Novelli, plus however much more is needed in actual advertising buys.
"The recent controversy has advanced the thinking of just a lot of people, that you can't take for granted that people know what Indiana is," said Chris Cotterill, general counsel for the Indiana Economic Development Corp...
The decision speaks directly to concerns raised by Indianapolis business leaders that the state was set to lose hundreds of millions of dollars if the law had been allowed to stand unchanged.
"We know that having an agency with outside perspective and one that has helped other consumer and government brands with image restoration campaigns is beneficial," said Chris Gahl, vice president of marketing for Visit Indy, the city's tourism branch. "Clearly the last two weeks have beat up and tarnished the state's reputation as a welcoming place."