Telling Veterans’ Stories with a Cross-Country Expedition: Walk of America

The Challenge

The Walk of America was a 12-week expedition aimed to encourage the conversation around veterans’ mental health and to raise funds for veterans’ charities in both the U.S. and U.K. Organized by U.K.-based charity Walking With The Wounded, which supports a pathway for vulnerable veterans to reintegrate back into society and sustain their independence, the expedition during the summer of 2018 saw six wounded veterans (three U.S. and three U.K.) walk a total of 1,000 miles across America. With Prince Harry and Dr. Jill Biden serving as Expedition Patrons, the walk created a platform to tell the stories of our wounded and their individual journeys from injury to the present day. Red Havas’ challenge was to help spread these incredible stories with on-message local and national media coverage in the cities the team walked through.

The Solution

Our strategy was to highlight the veterans’ stories and the stigma around mental health in the military community. We worked with actor and veterans activist Scott Eastwood (son of Clint Eastwood) to build momentum around the official launch in Los Angeles, and our team continued to secure media coverage on the ground as the veterans walked across the country. To meet Walking With The Wounded’s specific goals, we drew attention to the fundraising links and ensured that messaging around mental health was woven throughout our media coverage. The expedition concluded in New York City with a segment on the “Today” show.

The Results

During the expedition, our efforts generated 460 media clippings with a total of 231,082,944 impressions

Coverage highlights included the “Today” show, “America’s Newsroom” on Fox, People, The Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Today Online

We secured the involvement of Scott Eastwood, who joined the walk free of charge to generate coverage around the incredible cause