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Barrick: A comprehensive strategy worth its weight in gold

Caught in a contentious electoral climate, Barrick was the target of a campaign of misinformation. How the problem was solved and the role that Newlink played.

In December 2009, the Dominican Republic faced the prospect of the most important investment in its history. Barrick, one of the world’s largest mining companies, had agreed to pay $4 billion for the right to operate a virtually abandoned gold mine.
A country, whose economy relied almost exclusively on tourism, was presented with a unique opportunity to develop a whole new industry, in partnership with one of the most recognized firms on the planet.
However, a campaign of misinformation waged by media outlets controlled political opposition groups in the midst of an electoral race threatened to undermine the government’s plans.

The initial attacks against Barrick started several months before the company even began to operate the Pueblo Viejo gold mine.
Barrick decided to implement a communications strategy to set the record straight. To that end, Barrick, together with Newlink, designed and implemented a plan to restore its damaged reputation, generate support among stakeholders and minimize the negative impact of the opposing groups. The goal was to be proactive by providing the media with real and positive information about the company, while at the same time reacting quickly and effectively to counter attacks.
The tone of media coverage began to shift in March 2010, with an increase in the number of positive mentions about the company and a decrease in negative references.

The campaing won a Silver Anvil Award in the re-branding / re-positioning category: Turning a Complex Crisis into Gold in the Dominican Republic

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