November 18, 2013
The public relations profession offers a plethora of rewarding experiences, many of which focus on helping our clients successfully market and promote their products and services. Then, there are occasions when we support initiatives that are especially gratifying in a different way.
These would be clients’ assignments that involve public service, cause-related programs or charitable work. Recent LCWA efforts include heralding a state-wide bike ride that helps injured military veterans rehabilitate, securing donations to a national animal welfare organization, publicizing a fashion show that raised funds for local charities and arranging sponsorship of a documentary on fire safety.
Another meaningful project occurred this past week. LCWA helped the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (www.ilholocaustmuseum.org) plan and stage Kristallnacht 75, a program to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the horrific night that started the Holocaust. Kristallnacht, translated from the German as the “night of broken glass,” was the first organized act of Nazi violence against the Jewish people of Germany and Austria that culminated in the murder of millions.
The event featured personal and historical perspectives about Kristallnacht and its relevance today from prominent religious, academic and community leaders. We helped enlist speakers (such as Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Cong. Brad Schneider, National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA Dr. Robert Pickard, among many other dignitaries), arranged for honorary co-sponsors (which included eight local mayors), developed copy for direct outreach to target audiences, and generated media coverage, highlighted by a riveting front page Chicago Tribune article.
More than 700 people attended the Nov. 9 event to hear the moving and memorable reflections from participants. As program chair Al Gruen said, “The Kristallnacht commemoration is not just a remembrance of the past, but an opportunity to remind the world of what can happen when such ideologies take control. Programs such as these help ensure the phrase, “Never Again,’ is heard around the world.”
Playing a role in the extraordinary program that evening, indeed, was a rewarding experience.