The Big Event

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of attending a kickoff event for one of our client’s new initiatives. The kickoff for the Campaign for Grade Level Reading was a 3-day event in Washington, D.C. for one of our major clients, the Annie E. Casey Foundation.


To further understand what it is I do at the Hatcher Group and the type of clients that this particular PR firm works with, I think it’s important that I first tell you a little bit about the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Hatcher Group’s biggest client at the moment. The AECF is a foundation that works primarily on education reform and issues that involve children and families, and more specifically vulnerable children and families.


In December, the AECF came to the Hatcher Group, and one of my amazing co-workers with the idea of putting together this event to kick off the new campaign to get all children reading by the 3rd grade level, an imperative milestone for school-aged children. (Nearly all studies show that if kids don’t read on grade level by 3rd grade, their likelihood of graduating greatly decreases) The AECF was hoping to have about 50 people attend the event, but with only two months to plan an entire kick-off event in D.C. is an extremely daunting and nearly impossible task. But my coworkers made it happen and the event was a major success. They had over 200 people from around the country attend that deal with education policy issues.


In addition, on the last day of the event, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke during the closing remarks that I was able to attend. Secretary Duncan was right on point with everything the new initiative is trying to achieve. He vowed his support to the reading by 3rd campaign and hoped to convince Congress of this important milestone and try to get the funding needed to achieve this goal.


This was an overall great experience for me. Although I wasn’t involved with any of the planning for the event, it was interesting to see how everything came together. It was also awesome to see how my co-workers were able to have such a great success especially with the appearance of Secretary Duncan. To have such major political support for one of your client’s campaigns or initiatives is the first step to success when working on progressive policy issues in the PR field.


You can read all about the Campaign for Grade Level Reading and find out more about the 3 day conference here.