HOW TO USE AWARENESS DAYS AND WEEKS IN YOUR PR
This week is National Fertility Awareness Week, a week dedicated to helping those struggling with fertility to understand more about the information and support available. Using the hashtag #Fighting4Fertility, organisers hope to rally public bodies, companies and institutions to enable those struggling with fertility to access the services they need, from having time off work to free fertility treatments.
At Cherish PR, we are using the week to highlight the work of our client, TFP Fertility, the UK’s largest network of dedicated fertility clinics helping thousands of people to create new families. As a team of PR consultants, we’re really proud of our partnership with TFP and we’re pretty active in showcasing the work of the clinics, medical teams and those happy clients and their new babies. We decided that this National Fertility Awareness Week we were going to support the LGBT+ community and as a result, we have worked on an ITVBe documentary, placed a series of brilliant personal stories and publicised a partnership between TFP Fertility and LGBT Mummies.
Awareness days are a great tool for PR. From out and out marketing stunts like May the Fourth (be with you) to more serious weeks like National Fertility Awareness Week, these events are a call to action to gather minds, bodies and the media to talk about issues that affect us all. But how do you use awareness days, weeks or months within your PR strategy?
There are so many awareness days that you could probably plan a whole year’s PR programme on the back of them, but before you begin, think of your organisation’s vision and mission and use this to shortlist the right days and weeks for you.
Once you have your shortlist, look at the content and style of these events. Does the purpose of the day align with your goals and is the tone right for the subject matter and messages that you want to communicate? Essentially, does it feel like a good fit?
Once you have chosen your shortlist of days, ask yourself one question. What is your company (or client) doing that really adds to the debate? Have you got something really valuable to offer that the media or social audiences will want to share? Or are you celebrating the moment with a whole series of events that help or inspire your own team and others?
If the link is not immediately obvious, make it so. Consider what you can create to make your involvement authentic, genuine and something that really drives awareness and engagement.
At Cherish PR, we celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week with a series of team events designed to help our staff with their mental wellbeing. From yoga to foods for your mood, we used the opportunity to bring our company together. More recently, we used B Corp Awareness Week to showcase what makes a business responsible so that our team really understood what being part of a B Corp certified company means for their daily tasks. We used content captured from our events to share on social channels, engaging with B Corp itself to help spread the word on responsible business.
So, consider what your organisation can do that authentically adds to topic awareness and then use this at the heart of your PR strategy.
Today’s media are so busy that they focus their efforts on content that grabs attention and drives traffic to their stories. When competing with a global news agenda, media can often see awareness days as “light” or “soft” and therefore, we need to make it attractive and easy for them to publish our stories with the awareness day as a hook, particularly with such a limited time frame. That’s why it’s our job as PR consultants to make it as easy as possible for media to use our story on that day.
At Cherish PR, we always prepare and pre-pitch well in advance. We’ll have a strong package up our sleeve, combining an attention-grabbing news hook, supporting evidence and then an expert to comment or give advice, plus case studies to illustrate. Bringing these elements together makes it simple for the journalist to create the story and for it to be lined up to make the most of the day itself.
Hold fast to these three rules and you can make Awareness Days work as an excellent PR tool and an effective part of your communications’ strategy. For more PR tips and tools, follow Cherish PR on LinkedIn.