Case Study

Alexander & Baldwin


In 2016, landowner Alexander & Baldwin made the difficult decision to close the last sugarcane plantation in Hawaii. Founded in 1882, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar was one of Maui’s largest companies and employed generations of local families. The challenge was to communicate this transition while maintaining community goodwill that had been built over more than a century.

The Solution

Rather than sidestep the “end of an era” messaging, we recommended that our client own it.

A&B executives took every opportunity to acknowledge the loss to the community and express sincere gratitude to their employees — at town hall meetings, in internal communications, and in the media.

Proactive media outreach enabled A&B to tell its own story in a way that engendered respect and appreciation, minimizing potentially negative sentiments in favor of positive, forward-looking coverage.


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