The Citizen’s Share
Joseph R. Blasi, Richard B. Freeman, and Douglas L. Kruse
Yale University Press, June 2014

Mounting income and wealth inequality is America’s primary economic dilemma and major national public issue today. In this book, three professors argue that one way to address inequality is to give more citizens access to capital income via shares of stock and profits in the businesses where they work. Through a history of the share idea from the American Revolution to the present day, empirical evidence from an original 10-year study, and examples of companies that have put the idea into practice, The Citizen’s Share demonstrates how the United States might reform its brand of market capitalism in a way that not only reduces income inequality, but is also good for business.  

Media Highlights

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The Challenge

One of the co-authors of The Citizen’s Share, Joseph Blasi, came to us with an intriguing challenge—take a book that was published six months before the topic of inequality exploded thanks to Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, and place it at the center of the conversation through highly visible national media coverage. While we tend to gravitate toward new book releases, this was an opportunity to see if we could create a renewed groundswell of interest around a book that had been in the marketplace for some time by relying primarily on the news cycle rather than the novelty of a new release. It was a huge challenge that required a great deal of creativity, flexibility, and a willingness to think outside the box—and it was one that we embraced with open arms.  

What Made This Campaign A Success

The great success of this campaign came from having an incredibly collaborative and well-respected author with deep expertise, a book that presented a unique, pragmatic and bipartisan solution to a politically-charged issue, a laser-like focus on the media outlets that would have the greatest impact in achieving our goal, and a willingness to try something new each week. We worked closely with Joseph to identify the media placements that mattered the most; developed carefully targeted pitches based on what was happening in the constantly-evolving conversation about inequality; assisted in the ideation, development, and placement of op-eds in national publications; and arranged deskside meetings with key journalists in this topic area. It was a thrill to see our high-level media contacts recognize the potential of the book’s ideas, and even more of a thrill to see Joseph and the book earn the high-level media attention they both needed and deserved. The media attention we generated around the book—and his policy proposals around profit-sharing—eventually caught the attention of Hillary Clinton’s economic advisers. She incorporated his research and ideas into her economic platform, which gave us the opportunity to work together a second time to generate more media attention for his work. This was the kind of inspiring, purposeful, and intellectually rigorous work that reminds us why we do what we do.

My team at Cave Henricks Communications achieved tangible results month after month and worked harder with me than I imagined was possible. By connecting with journalists one at a time, day after day, they helped me spread my message through multiple op-eds, high-impact national television, hard-hitting radio, and deskside meetings with top print journalists in my field. They are the absolute best—professional communicators, heavy-lifters, and astute advisors.

Joseph Blasi, Distinguished Professor and J. Robert Beyster Professor, Rutgers University; author of The Citizen’s Share