Issue Communications

Protecting Lives and Livelihoods

With the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety


01 / Background

In the aftermath of the tragic Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh in 2013, a group of 26 leading North American apparel companies, retailers, and brands came together to form a nonprofit called the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. GMMB was brought onboard to help them communicate their goal: to dramatically improve workplace safety in Bangladesh’s garment factories.

2013 - present
Creative Content / Digital / Public Relations

02 / Strategy

The Alliance asked GMMB to help amplify their goals and progress—achievements like inspecting 100 percent of the factories from which their Members source, beginning factory repairs, training more than one million workers in fire safety, launching an anonymous worker helpline, and working closely with the Bangladesh government to ensure reforms can be sustained locally once the Alliance’s five-year initiative has ended. GMMB developed comprehensive communications strategies and undertook an aggressive media relations effort to share the Alliance’s accomplishments and tell their story.


03 / Work

We regularly shared Alliance accomplishments with key media targets, facilitated meetings with high-profile publications, and mounted an organized crisis communications response. By amplifying the voices of Alliance technical experts in on-the-record and on-background interviews, responding consistently to attacks with an evidence-based narrative, and aggressively telling the story of Alliance progress in Bangladesh, GMMB highlighted the role of the Alliance and its member companies as change-makers in Bangladesh who are leading the way in empowering and ensuring the safety of garment workers.


04 / Results

Our efforts resulted in a marked shift in the narrative about the Alliance. They have received positive coverage and placement in dozens of top-tier publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and Bloomberg, among others. Additionally, we’ve helped place opinion pieces in outlets including The Hill, USA Today, and The New York Post. We also secured an editorial board meeting with The New York Times, built relationships with key clothing and fashion industry publications, and worked aggressively to correct the record when news outlets published biased articles or misrepresented the facts. The work is far from over, but the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety is making critical first steps toward improving safety conditions in factories and protecting the lives of garment workers.