After years of preparation and buildup, Museum of the Bible opened three blocks from the Capitol in Washington, D.C., in November 2017. DeMoss developed and executed a grand opening public relations campaign for the museum to increase exposure and influence public perception in the year leading up to the opening.  During that time, the museum faced challenges including comparison to notoriously inferior faith-based tourist attractions, misplaced association with a legal settlement regarding artifact provenance, and skepticism of its academically focused mission and nonpartisan nature due to its location. 

To address these challenges and position the museum as a credible addition to Washington’s world-class offerings, we provided strategic counsel, planning and management to avert crises that could have overshadowed the grand opening. Consistently using core brand messaging along with messages designed to address specific controversies, DeMoss responded to criticism, shaped public opinion and protected the museum’s brand. We leveraged our longstanding relationships with top-tier, national news outlets and connected with new contacts across sectors relevant to the museum (the arts, entertainment, travel, religion/faith/spirituality, construction, architecture and design, culture, etc.), providing extensive media resources—including 32 original fact sheets and a variety of multimedia resources—on DeMoss.com.

The grand opening campaign—including hard-hat tours, a scholarly panel event and three preview days—resulted in advance, on-site interviews and more than 4,000 stories globally, with a potential combined reach of more than 8.23 billion. Approximately 75 percent of these stories were positive and on-message, clearly presenting the museum’s nonsectarian mission and setting the stage for positive public perception of the newly opened museum.