My MLK Weekend Recap
As we all should know last Monday, January 16, was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is not only a day but rather a weekend, or in San Antonio, a near month long, celebration of Dr. King’s life. A weekend used to celebrate the life and legacy of one of America’s greatest heroes and leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is also one of the biggest weekends of the year in San Antonio. More than 300,000 people gather to participate in the annual march which is the largest in the country. This year marked a historic 30th anniversary of the march in San Antonio which is a historic milestone when most people wouldn’t even think to consider San Antonio among the leaders of Dr. King’s movement.
This year the San Antonio MLK Commission wanted to give the people something to remember. Thus, my team at BethanyEast PR was set to have the busiest month EVER. The BethanyEast PR team had a hand in eight events in the span of 2 weeks. The greatest of those events was the 30th Anniversary March where we had the pleasure of being tasked with booking David Banner as the keynote speaker and special guest performer Jidenna. While this was one of the greatest weekends of my life it was also one of the most trying. Over the course of this weekend my team was a part of four events in a mere two days. I am not one to complain, especially when it comes to working, but the sleep deprivation was real! From Saturday’s 10th Annual Youth Empowerment Summit where I witnessed nearly 300 San Antonio middle and high school kids participate in small breakout sessions and actively engage with keynote speakers to attending SAGE’s Taste the Dream Gala there was not a single moment to be missed.
Everyone wants to believe that being a publicist or event planner is a glamorous job (believe me there are times when it is amazing) but there are times when it is a grunt-worthy job. It is not the job you see on TV or in the movies; it is grueling and often times a thankless job. As a publicist, we are expected to be miracle workers. When you add the role of an event planner to that title you reach a dangerous tipping point where it is expected that you can do it all. Now don’t get me wrong, I can figure just about anything out. If there’s one thing I have learned during my time as a publicist, it is how to problem solve. You must think on your feet. I can say the Youth Summit went off pretty much without a hitch. Thanks to amazing volunteers and kids who came ready to learn and soak up as much information as they could handle it was a great morning. I can’t even complain about the Gala because my job was done before I got there. BethanyEast was tasked with marketing the gala and I would say it was a success. When your client tells you to stop selling tickets because they’re going to sell out I say that’s a good problem to have and your job is done.
These events alone sound like a full weekend, right? Wrong! This was just the beginning of the madness. On Sunday, our special guest, Jidenna, arrived in San Antonio. You’re probably thinking “That’s cool you get to hang out with celebrities” and you’re right it is fun, but it’s also work. It’s not letting my hair down (completely) and forgetting that I’m a professional. I’m still on the clock. Along with these good times come the short nights #TeamNoSleep. I slept roughly eight hours over the course of four days. For the next two days, I was tasked with ensuring all needs were met for not only Jidenna but also for his eight-person band and crew. I bet y’all didn’t think about that part did ya? While Jidenna and his crew were the most incredibly sweet guys you’ll ever meet I still didn’t get to sleep. I love my sleep. If this wasn’t crazy enough let me add one more person, David Banner to the mix. I’ll just say my lack of sleep was cut in half.
While I can’t say, I enjoy not sleeping I can say that I enjoy what I do. As a publicist, I get to work with incredible people and do amazing things. I have had the opportunity to book Jidenna and David Banner for the largest MLK march in the country. THE LARGEST MARCH IN THE COUNTRY. Yes, I fall victim to showing the glamorous aspects of my job for social media but I know it’s important to share the not so glamorous aspects as well. I want to be the honest voice that shows young girls and boys thinking about pursuing a career in the field of PR what to really expect. There will be long days, sleepless nights, and times where you feel your work goes unappreciated but just know at the end of the day it really is all worth it if you’re in it for the love.