What began as a casual conversation with our soon-to-be client at a New Year’s Eve party turned into a PR engagement with the nascent Sister March network. With 21 days before what we hoped would be a historic global event — the largest march on the planet — it was our job to formulate a strategy and execution plan to achieve this. Our deliverables would include strategy, messaging, social media content, media training for first-time activists, communications toolkits for local organizers to use, and media relations.
Sister Marches were planned for here and there after the Women’s March on Washington was announced. But we saw that in order to achieve PR success, we would need an aggregate global march attendance number that was more impactful in size and scope than the Trump inauguration attendance. So our first goal was an internal communications one: direct organizers to form marches in every state and on every continent, creating psychic value. Once secured, our goal then became generating media attention a week or two before the event to drive maximum attendance in each of the 50 states and on every continent. Through press releases and other outreach, we highlighted the marches in the most unexpected places (mountaintops, Antarctica, cancer wards and conservative states and countries where protests are uncommon, such as Saudi Arabia) and focused our energy on top-tier media such as the New York Times, BBC, USA Today and NBC News. The results: more than 5 million people marched in all 50 states, on all seven continents, and on the day of the march, there were more than 8 billion views of the coverage — more than there are people on the planet. We also helped formulate the strategy for the “10 Actions for the First 100 Days” to the keep the network engaged and the PR momentum going. This included partnering with other organizations to motivate the Sister March network to attend Congressional Town Halls and encourage the media to cover them.