Embodying Eleanor: A Lasting Legacy, History and Medals of Honor



In mid-2019, Impact PR & Communications (IPR&C) was hand-picked as PR agency of record for the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill (ERVK), a non-profit educational organization based in Hyde Park, NY. As part of the scope of work, Impact was tapped to spearhead the media relations for its annual Medal of Honor Ceremony, which honors select individuals whose far-reaching influence, and dedication to the mission and values of Eleanor Roosevelt, is making a positive difference in the world today. As part of the effort, Impact created awareness of the prestigious ceremony and announced the 2019 honorees, which included author and vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, Chelsea Clinton; humanitarian, author and global journalist, Zainab Salbi; Hyde Park residents and philanthropists, John and Gloria Golden; and gender equity champion and President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises , Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.


With all five medalists confirmed to accept the honor and attend the ceremony just one month before the event, Impact PR & Communications quickly and strategically forged ahead, drafting and sending out a press release announcing the medalists, disseminating a media alert and pitching to outlets in the industries and regions specific to each honoree. Furthermore, the agency:

  • Tightened and clarified branding for ERVK by crafting a boilerplate and new descriptive language for the organization’s written content.
  • Wrote and copyedited program content, including medalist and presenter bios.
  • Provided strategic counsel regarding social media messaging and created content, boosting overall engagement across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Kate Wark, executive vice president of IPR&C and owner of Kate Wark Photography, photographed the event and provided curated galleries for the honorees, organization and media afterward.
  • Secured media placements pre and post event through proactive and reactive media relations efforts on a local, regional and national level.
  • Coordinated onsite media presence, which was highly restricted due to secret service requirements.
  • Conducted follow-up interviews, materials coordination and fact checking with members of the media to ensure positive and on-brand media coverage of the event.

Cover Stories


Between September and November 2019, Impact PR & Communications:

  • Secured 5 cover stories, including The Poughkeepsie Journal, Daily Freeman and Hudson Valley News.
  • Secured interviews for Ms. Mag, News12 and Spectrum News.
  • Boosted engagement on ERVK’s social media pages, with the Facebook post announcing the 2019 medalists scoring 92 likes over last year’s 18.
  • Grew earned media coverage from seven (in 2018) to 94 secured placements in 2019, securing more than 92,695,689 media impressions, for the effort.

Words cannot express how thankful I am for our partnership with Impact PR & Communications. The way the Impact team coordinated the media during our annual Medal Ceremony, from start to finish, was extraordinary; having them there to take control was a huge relief. I’m so pleased with how they kept the media organized and informed, and I’m thrilled with the resulting coverage. Impact is an awesome team.

– April N. Gozza, Executive Director, Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill