The whole story is in my post from MLK Day 2010. The short of it is that, for me, this day is more powerful as one for reflection.
Last year, Nina Simone was the artist of choice playing in the background. Today, I’m playing a little Stevie Wonder. We’ll return to this in a bit.
As this day approached, several articles and programs attempted to dissect Dr. King’s work, describe his impact on American society and hypothesize what he would be most concerned with if he were alive today.
One discussion in particular stood out for me on Meet the Press. It was about the power of his voice. Not in the auditory sense, but the actual power or weight King’s voice brought to a cause that meant so much to so many across this nation. By speaking up, speaking out and speaking effectively (matching the correct tone to the time and audience), Dr. King used his talents to mentally, physically and spiritually move millions.
Today, I’m challenging you to find your cause. If you have already, great! Tell me about it; tell the world!
As communications professionals, I believe that we have a tremendous amount to power. We are called upon to generate awareness, stimulate discussion and influence decisions on a daily basis. On this day and every one which follows, I challenge you (as I challenge myself) to commit to at least one cause and do everything possible to move towards progress, towards solutions that can make a real difference in the lives of others.
And one more thing…don’t be traditional about it.
As we know from our own experiences, tailored strategies and messages work best. Sometimes a little more creativity is on our part to get the results we’re looking for. Let’s take a look at this very day that we celebrate across the nation. It took hard work, a great deal of campaigning and a dose of creativity in the form of a special song by Stevie Wonder to generate the attention necessary to rally the masses.
Let’s use our talents in strategy and message development, in audience segmentation, in developing relationships and generating awareness for causes that truly matter, but let’s not leave out the creativity that can work to enhance our efforts as well.
I hope that we can all spend some time today reflecting on the man, his mission and our own.
Happy Birthday Dr. King.