Strategic communications to end wrongful convictions
Spitfire was hired by the Innocence Project to help build its internal strategic communications capacity and ensure that its use of communications is effective and aligned with organizational priorities. Through a series of interviews with leadership and staff members, Spitfire evaluated workstreams and capacities across departments and outlined recommendations to enhance the Innocence Project’s programmatic goals and the organizations' position in the criminal justice field. Innocence Project adopted or recommendations and is putting them into practice to align its policy goals, communication efforts and litigation strategies. As part of our recommendations, Spitfire also led an in-person training with program directors and the communications team to build a shared understanding of strategic communications and why achieving policy, fundraising and behavioral change is vital to Innocence Project's mission. Spitfire continues to work alongside the communications team to assist with rapid response requests and press outreach, as well as media and spokesperson training. Most recently, the team provided in-person interview training and media outreach to key reporters surrounding the exonerations of prominent wrongful conviction cases, including Huwe Burton and Michael Chaney. These cases focused on different examples of wrongful convictions – including the use of “junk science” and false confession.