Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster to ever impact the United States: over 1,000 lives were lost and the City of New Orleans was nearly destroyed. Ten years after the storm, the City has made a remarkable recovery and by many measures is stronger than it was before the hurricane. As the ten-year anniversary approached, the City of New Orleans, in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, embarked on a project to tell the story of New Orleans’ comeback, and launch a new identity for the City as a global role model for what it means to build urban resilience in the face of substantial challenges.
SKDKnickerbocker was hired by the City of New Orleans and the NOLA 2018 Foundation, funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, to launch and manage the Katrina 10 Anniversary. SKDK was tasked with managing the overwhelming international media interest in the anniversary, developing a brand identity and web presence, and executing a comprehensive media and communications program for the anniversary, which culminated in a week’s worth of commemorative events – including 69 separate media panels and appearances by three United States Presidents.
“... the city’s very survival as an inviting and vibrant space has made it into a symbol of resilience, an inspiration for other places savaged by nature’s whims and man’s mistakes.”
– The Washington Post
As part of the “K10” initiative, SKDK also produced an animated video that explains the concept of resilience through the eyes of child born in New Orleans today.
The K10 commemorative events generated extensive media coverage, showcasing the City’s incredible comeback and presenting a model of resilience building, for now and the future, to cities across the globe. SKDK secured coverage in The Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, Fortune, Fast Company, Bleacher Report, Vox and many more. For its work on the project, SKDK received PR News 2016 Agency Elite Awards in the Community Relations and Nonprofit/Association categories, as well as a Bulldog Media Relations Award.