The Challenge: After activist Heather Heyer was killed at a counter-protest to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA, her mother, Susan Bro, vowed to make her death count by launching a foundation in her memory. TASC was brought on to launch the Foundation in a period of less than two weeks, manage media and speaking engagements for Bro and use the media attention to build a movement to support HHF’s mission.
Our Strategy: TASC publicly launched HHF in three phases: First, we provided programmatic and strategic support to help Bro launch the foundation in 10 days. Second, we negotiated an exclusive announcement of HHF at the MTV Video Music Awards. We purposely chose to reserve Bro’s voice for select, impactful opportunities in this phase, with the understanding that Bro was still grieving the death of her daughter. The third phase was to use Bro as a spokesperson at high-profile events and forge partnerships for HHF in order to garner additional media attention and support.
Our Results: Our work generated over 300 million media impressions, helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the foundation and established the foundation’s credibility. The New York Times ran a web and print exclusive, which was picked up by several outlets. Bro’s appearance at the VMAs reached an audience of over 500 million people, spreading HHF’s message across the globe, and HHF was covered in People Magazine, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, BuzzFeed, USA Today, Glamour, CNN, HuffPost, E!, Vanity Fair and many more. Celebrities and activists including Bernie Sanders, Chelsea Clinton and Miley Cyrus expressed their support for HHF, and Ellen DeGeneres and Shutterfly made a live on-air donation of $50,000 to HHF. Bro is now widely respected as a prominent voice for ending hate and is currently writing a book proposal. HHF is regarded as a leading advocacy organization that will have a lasting impact on social justice change.