Case Study:

Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity

The situation

In 2019 former U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Gene Ludwig established the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity (LISEP), with the stated mission of improving the economic well-being of middle- and lower-income Americans through research and education, yet through the summer of 2020, had received little media attention.

GPS Influence was brought on board to assist in the promotion of LISEP’s research – an alternate statistic to measure the national unemployment rate by including the marginally employed and those unable to secure a living-wage job.

Our approach

GPS developed and executed a strategic media outreach plan designed to elevate Mr. Ludwig’s profile and by extension, LISEP’s, by leveraging his existing reputation among policymakers and business sector influencers. Utilizing the release of his book, The Vanishing American Dream, as a hook, this was accomplished through aggressive content management of social media sites, pitching Mr. Ludwig as an expert source for business and economics reporters, and offering guest columns and editorials to prominent national publications.

The results 

The new economic measure made its debut on Axios with a segment on the Axios on HBO television program, was a topic of discussion on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher, and was featured on CBS MoneyWatch. 

GPS also successfully secured interviews for Mr. Ludwig with the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, Reuters, and Politico, in addition to podcast interviews on American Banker and the New Books Network. In addition, opinion pieces under Mr. Ludwig’s byline were featured in The Financial Times and American Banker, with subsequent pieces appearing in Politico, Morning Consult, and The Atlantic, and a live television interview on the Yahoo Finance Network. Mr. Ludwig gained hundreds of new Twitter followers yielding hundreds of thousands of impressions, and a follower base on LinkedIn that has grown by more than 300 percent

The TRU measurement is now released monthly, and continues to shape the narrative around the state of the economy and the labor markets. Mr. Ludwig’s book, The Vanishing American Dream, enjoyed a lengthy run on Amazon’s top 100 list among economics books, including a stint in the top 10, rising to as high as number three. LISEP subsequently launched the quarterly release of the True Weekly Earnings statistic, which made its debut in April 2021 through an exclusive with Bloomberg News.

Looking to further expand Mr. Ludwig and LISEP’s role as thought leaders on the topic of income inequality, GPS Influence conducted a qualitative research project involving 43 families from across the nation, receiving feedback on household expenditures not normally reflected in government consumer price statistics. The data collected will have future applications in public releases. In addition, in July 2021 GPS Influence launched The Ludwig Report, a monthly electronic newsletter highlighting LISEP’s original research. The newsletter was distributed to subscribers as well as press, with initial open rates approaching 40%.