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Washington United

Washington United for Marriage is a coalition of organizations, congregations, unions, and business associations working together to secure civil marriage for loving, committed gay and lesbian couples in Washington State.


In need of a strong, coordinated kickoff, Washington United for Marriage approached Nyhus Communications to implement a full-service launch of its coalition with only two weeks to plan and execute. As a brand new coalition, Washington United for Marriage was in need of everything from messaging development and social media strategy to advocating with key legislators.


With numerous stakeholders at the table, Nyhus managed the development of a communications strategy that involved fully integrating public relations, public affairs, marketing, and social media to ensure a cohesive and veritable voice of support for the freedom to marry was heard from the coalition.

Over the course of two weeks, Nyhus worked closely with the Coalition to develop messaging, plan a press conference, provide media training, draft materials, consult on social media activation, secure a preview story in The Seattle Times and advocate key legislators for their support.


The primary event was a press conference held in Bellevue on November 14, 2011. The press conference included speeches from leading members of the coalition and testimonials of support from lesbian and gay families as well as allies from all over Washington State. The press conference was attended by members of national and local print, online and broadcast media outlets, including The Associated Press, The Seattle Times, Seattle Gay News, KOMO, KING, and KCPQ.

Following the official launch, a wave of positive coverage ensued, including multiple broadcast segments on all of the major channels as well as national online coverage and extensive print coverage in pivotal communities across Washington. Nyhus provided media relations throughout this period with spokesperson coaching, messaging development and by hosting interviews.

In the first two weeks after the announcement of Washington United for Marriage, a total of 44 original news clips and 25 blog posts had published. In the first week, nearly 4,000 people became fans of Washington United for Marriage’s Facebook page.

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