The U.S.S. Cole’s Return To Sea


The Cirlot Agency was engaged to develop a media strategy for the return to sea of the U.S.S. COLE, which was damaged during a terrorist attack in Yemen. The objective was to make the U.S.S. COLE’s return to sea the biggest news event in America, and for the coverage to be reverent and tasteful.


The strategy allowed the media maximum access to the ship and the crew, while staying within the stringent security guidelines dictated by the U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. Media from across the globe descended upon Pascagoula, Miss., to cover the event. Over 130 media crews representing local, regional, national and international media were present.


The Cirlot Agency helped turn the U.S.S. COLE’s departure into a five-day news event. The story received approximately 194 articles in 124 publications in 30 states, not including Washington, D.C. International coverage included Canada and various outlets across Europe. In television news, there were 453 stories broadcast in 22 states. This included live cut-ins from CNN and live coverage from ABC’s Good Morning America. The coverage dwarfed previous coverage of the COLE’s arrival, which had been named by The Washington Post as one of the “Top Ten Stories of 2000.”

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