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Awareness days as a PR tool: beware!

Team Calvin
07 Feb 2022

From International Carrot Day to National Apprenticeship Week, there’s no end of days/weeks/months celebrating even the most niche causes. Not that we at Calvin Marketing are complaining. When the spotlight shines on something our clients are known for, it’s an opportune time for us to pitch relevant ideas to the media with the view to securing coverage.

But these key dates aren’t always as PR-friendly as you might hope. The rise in so many over the years has left many media outlets feeling fatigued, not to mention bored of the same old ideas. How can you wow journalists with an engaging PR idea out of an awareness date, and ensure that it aligns well with your brand?

• Plan ahead: Think of it as a year-long task. By mapping out every awareness day/week/month over the course of a year, you’ll stand yourself in much better stead to come up with an original idea when the time comes. Perhaps you can partner with an organisation that strengthens your commemoration of the event? Or maybe you can gather testimonials from customers on how committed you are to a certain cause?
• Explore every area of the business: You don’t necessarily need to come up with something new. Dig deep into your business and see whether you have any impressive statistics or facts that strengthen your support for a cause. For example, maybe over half of your staff walk to work, and that’s above the national average for businesses across the UK? On ‘Walk To Work Day’, that will be the hook to sharing with the media any initiatives you have that help employees maintain their health and wellbeing.
• Find out who is a ‘no-go’: Some media outlets as a rule don’t follow awareness dates. Others might mark the date but only with a case study that brings it to life. Do your research into each of your media targets and tailor your pitch according to how they have covered similar things previously.
• Practice what you preach: Whatever awareness date you’re marking, ensure that you can confidently say that it’s an area you’re strong in. If 98% of your senior team are male, chances are it’s not appropriate to celebrate International Women’s Day. Focus on the awareness dates that your business and brand live up to.
• Support with social media: Striking gold with an exceptional piece of media coverage is a great result. But don’t forget to mark the event on social media. By tagging the organisation that runs the key date, you’re boosting your exposure and showing a cause that characterises you as a brand.

At Calvin, National X Day/Week/Month has been the basis of some great media coverage that truly showcases our clients’ brands. Take Home Instead. They’re a home care company that offers specialist dementia care. Several of its franchise offices have taken this as an opportunity to gain recognition over Dementia Action Week, whether that’s by hosting workshops for the public or announcing the number of newly trained dementia caregivers.

There’s no denying the usefulness of awareness dates as a PR tool, and that fact that it can land you even the most impressive piece of coverage. But don’t jump into marking the first one you hear about which is remotely related to your brand. Stay aware of how it fits into what you do as a business.

#awarenessday #greatstory #PR