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Kennedy King Memorial Initiative

50th Anniversary Case Study

Kennedy King

About the Kennedy King Memorial Initiative

The Kennedy King Memorial Initiative, a voluntary nonprofit organization based in Indianapolis, works to commemorate the historic speech delivered by Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in Indianapolis on the night that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. The organization’s mission is to keep this unique moment in history alive and to leverage the message of Dr. King and Sen. Kennedy to address issues of division and injustice experienced today.

The Situation

April 4, 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. The Kennedy King Memorial Initiative enlisted Porch Light to help publicize a series of special events, in conjunction with the city of Indianapolis, Indy Parks, partner organizations, and civic leaders, including appearances by civil rights icon and US Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia and Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and daughter of Sen. Kennedy.

Our Goal

Through a series of special events culminating in the 50th Anniversary Commemoration on April 4, 2018, the board of the Kennedy King Memorial Initiative wanted to gain awareness within the Indianapolis community regarding the deeply moving moment in Indianapolis history that took place on April 4, 1968.

Additionally, Porch Light was tasked with helping to raise awareness on a national level for what is considered one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and why the message of understanding and peace still reverberates today.

Lastly, it was important that the culmination of events serve as an anchor for expanding the campus center and preserving the ongoing legacy for the city of Indianapolis to be known as “the place” where the values of both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy come alive.

Our Approach

Porch Light started the campaign in 2017, engaging the media early and planting the seed for the 2018 commemoration. A series of events and announcements took place throughout early 2018 to help build anticipation for the April 4, 2018 events. In collaboration with representatives from local organizations throughout the city, including Visit Indy, Indiana Historical Society, Indy Parks, Downtown Indy, we worked together to help spread the word and ensure the commemorative events were covered across a multitude of media platforms. Our media relations strategy implementing a credentialing process connecting reporters with witnesses to help re-live the story of that historic night, securing morning talk show appearances for Kerry Kennedy and coordinating on-site interviews at a local school with elected officials and Rep. John Lewis, the campaign accomplished the goals and objectives laid out by the organization.

The Results

Our work garnered multiple stories in every major Indianapolis media outlet as well as national coverage spanning from the to Washington Post to CBS News to NPR.

Total Coverage Placement
Total Reach