Events and awareness days: how can you integrate them with PR?

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In the age of social media, the world loves an excuse to celebrate. Trends such as International Picnic Day, National Truffle Day and even Pina Colada Day have gained popularity in recent years.

As a proud Yorkshire agency, we’re happy to support events such as Yorkshire Day. But where do these events stand when it comes to propping up your PR strategy?

Choosing your approach

There’s more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to events and awareness days. Invariably, your approach will involve some social media, from something simple…

Silvery Tweed Cereals showed off their new product development with a simple post to mark Valentine’s Day

…to something more elaborate and poignant:

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we worked with York Mind to create a campaign to support their fundraising drive that involved walking around York’s famous city walls.

The latter involved a more cross-channel approach, including targeting local media and ambassadors to bring high-profile organisations on board.

There’s no right or wrong way to leverage awareness days, but the approach you take should directly align with your values.

Showing off your personality

Many industries will be keen to shake off certain stereotypes, particularly if they’re not in a ‘sexy’ trade – think manufacturing or accountancy. However, their skillset doesn’t mean they can’t have fun.

To mark April Fool’s Day, industrial lubricant manufacturer ROCOL introduced a ‘multi-coloured’ metal-working fluid, much to the amusement of their thousands of followers. We’ve all seen examples of using humour to go viral – think Aldi’s ‘lemon on a pear’ – and these are fantastic ways of generating engagement for relatively low effort.

Taking a multi-channel approach

While it’s great to get engagement from humorous posts, you can level these up for even more engagement by introducing competitions.

Our client, integral blinds manufacturer Morley Glass and Glazing, regularly run competitions timed with events such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas as well as major sporting events. They have successfully integrated this into various channels, from sharing ‘find the image’ challenges on Facebook to promoting them via email.

Winners are then awarded prizes and shared on social media channels. Morley Glass have achieved 25% higher engagement with these interactive posts, demonstrating the value of awareness days.

Matching your business aims

While Morley Glass have seen great PR benefits, they’re also keen to ensure their content aligns with their CSR programme. As a business, you should follow this principle too.

For example, if you’re in the automotive industry, you might want to promote Clean Air Day. These might involve pushing offers on cleaner alternatives or donating X% of your profits to relevant charities.

Whatever you choose, it’s important that it matches your company values. This could be for any reason – for example, a company founder with a family history of cancer may choose to support cancer charities.

Planning ahead

Rather than using a ‘catch-all’ approach, consider which days would be relevant to your business and values, and plan ahead. Make or download an awareness days calendar and highlight causes that are relevant to you. You can then decide how much resource you want to allocate to each: a one-off amusing April Fool, for example, or a week-long awareness campaign.

Whatever you choose, be sincere and back it up with actions. Unfortunately, we’ve all seen the backlash that can happen when organisations don’t practice what they preach. It’s better to choose a few causes and be authentic than to chase publicity.

For more help planning your onward PR and social campaigns, contact Partners today.

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