The Press Conference Tsunami


Talk of an upcoming press conference flooded the office like a tsunami. Listening intently on conversations and conference calls, while sifting through various e-mails was truly the only way I could keep up. I had never been to a press conference let alone planned one.

The month leading up to the press conference, everyone was working on a very strict timeline. Who knew that a press release shouldn’t be released too early or too late? Or that social media should blast all at once to create the highest exposure? I didn’t, but as the weeks counted down things were falling into place. By the time I walked through the doors of the FAIR school the day of the press conference, we had plenty of PR artillery and were ready for action.

My main priority leading up to the press conference was to keep a running guest list of some of the most highly recognized and influential people in our state.  The governor’s office, congressional delegates, admirals, generals, superintendents, veteran organization leaders, media teams and Fortune 500 corporate leaders just to name a few (and let’s not forget the most important attendee, Medal of Honor recipient Tom Kelley).  As the RSVP’s came in, I was amazed at the amount of people that wanted to show their support by attending. Before then, I had no idea people actually attended press conferences; I thought they only aired on TV.

Details swirled in my mind while I scrambled around the theatre room in the hour before the press conference.  Keeping track of everything was exhausting; from acknowledging important persons and news stations to making sure everyone had name-tags and copies of the run-of-show, I was surviving on pure adrenaline.  My lack of extensive military knowledge showed again when we had an issue with the flags.  I hadn’t known flags couldn’t touch the ground!

The audience took their seats and the speakers walked up on stage.  There was nothing left to do besides watch as a month of planning (with plenty of blood, sweat and tears) culminated right in front of me.  News cameras pointed at the impressive stage and the room became silent.  Everyone was there for his or her own reason that day, but left feeling the same way: inspired.

I was told an average press conference is informational and the speakers stoic. The storytelling of this press conference was so passionate and personal that it was clear to see that the people donating their time and resources to this convention have a special place in their hearts dedicated to those who have defended our freedom.  I can now say I have some knowledge about how a press conference is run, but the biggest thing I left that day with was gratefulness.  I am grateful to be part of a non-profit, but what is so fulfilling is that this particular non-profit thrives off of passion for those who serve our country.





National Medal of Honor Day

DID YOU KNOW  The United States Congress has designated March 25th of each year as National Medal of Honor Day, a day dedicated to our nation’s greatest heroes.

On March 25th 1863, six members of Andrew’s Raiders became the first recipients of the Medal of Honor.

Do you celebrate National Medal of Honor Day? Are you wondering how to get involved? Check out a few of our favorite options below:

  • FLY YOUR FLAG (…and if you don’t, have one go buy one!)
  • WATCH A MOVIE OR READ A BOOK. There have been several movies made and books written by and about Medal of Honor recipients.
  • REMEMBER OUR HEROES. As a gesture of your appreciation, take just a few moments to watch a short vignette about a recipient on Vimeo
  • GET STUDENTS INVOLVED. Talk to your kids about what the Medal of Honor is and what it stands for. (If you think students in your community would benefit from being exposed to the values MOH recipients hold dear take a look at the Character Development Program. Training in Minnesota is available twice in April and again in September.)
  • VISIT. If there is a Medal of Honor memorial or plaque near your home, visit! Another option is to research a recipient and visit their gravesite if they are buried nearby.
  • GET PLUGGED IN. Like our  Facebook page and click around our website to stay on top of more MOH news!