CAMPAIGNS: One million moms march into media - Event PR

Client: The Million Mom March

Client: The Million Mom March

Client: The Million Mom March

PR Team: Jasculca/Terman & Associates (Chicago); Strauss Radio

Strategies (Washington, DC)

Campaign: The Million Mom March

Time Frame: Late January to May 2000

Budget: dollars 125,000+ (total march budget: dollars 2 million)

When New Jersey mother Donna Dees-Thomases started her Million Mom March

group in late 1999, she wanted to show the depth of support for gun

control measures that include licensing and registration. She planned to

have people hurt by gun violence march on the nation’s capital as a

graphic demonstration of the pro-gun-control feelings across the


In late January, Jasculca/Terman & Associates was hired to organize the

march and to handle national PR for the event and its cause. Strauss

Radio Strategies was hired to handle radio media tours that stretched

from early May through march day, May 14 - Mother’s Day.


The Million Mom March gave Jasculca three goals: to produce a smoothly

run event that would be a showcase for the group and its future efforts;

to draw a large crowd; and to generate as much media attention as


Jasculca sought to emphasize the group’s voluntary nature and the local

aspects of efforts being carried out across the country.


Jasculca modified the group’s Web site so it could be used for

recruiting, registering marchers and providing media with information. A

listserv of volunteers received regular e-mail updates on planned

activities. Direct mail was used to send brochures and other information

to volunteers not reachable via e-mail.

In late February, information kits went out to roughly 100


The kits included talking points and statistics to use when dealing with

local press. Information about how to organize local rallies, how to

raise funds and how to get media attention was also included. Some 50

people served as volunteer local media coordinators for local news

outlets to contact in their states, says Melissa Conner, Jasculca’s

communications director.

In early March, the agency launched a New York media tour. The tour came

just as the shooting of a Michigan first grader grabbed national


’Suddenly we were wanted everywhere,’ says Mary Patrick, EVP and

managing director with Jasculca.

In early April, talk show host Rosie O’Donnell agreed to emcee the

event, producing a fresh round of media attention. O’Donnell, a

gun-control advocate, also gave the march numerous mentions on her


Strauss scheduled eight radio interviews for group founder Dees-Thomases

and set up other interviews for volunteer members of the group, as well

as for two congressmen.


An estimated 750,000 marchers came to Washington while another 100,000

held rallies across the country - far exceeding the group’s original

goal of 100,000 to 200,000. More than 1,000 media reps showed up for the

DC march. All the major networks covered the event, with C-SPAN carrying

it live. Major print outlets such as Time, Newsweek, USA Today and The

Wall Street Journal covered the march, as did more than 100

international media outlets. Radio interviews reached an estimated 4.8

million people.


Jasculca has provided the group with strategic advice for its future

structure. The organization will continue lobbying for gun licensing and

registration. The group also plans to continue community outreach


It plans to survey elected officials across the country to see where

they stand on licensing and registration. It will also take part in

public forums across the country to keep its position in front of the

public and legislators.

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