Why awareness days are still a viable PR strategy

by | Jun 11, 2020 | Public Relations

One of the ways that CMG Communications secure national and regional coverage for their clients is through awareness days. Popular examples include International Women’s Day, World Book Day and Wear it Pink Day.

And while it’s true that the media may be a little wary of the more contrived campaigns (it’s not uncommon to see journalists tweeting their annoyance of awareness days), they are still a proven method to get PR.

Just take a look at these recent pieces of coverage and you’ll see that they are all linked to Earth Day:

You just need to bear in mind that the awareness day itself is not a story—but your activity to mark it is. So, don’t roll out an unimaginative response to a national awareness day: be creative, make it interesting and, of course, relevant to your business.

Some awareness days are pretty generic and can be suited to several businesses but others are better suited to a certain type of brand.

Where should you begin?

Like you would with any PR campaign!

  • Shortlist the relevant awareness days.
  • Identify your target media.
  • Research the journalists that write about awareness days.
  • View press coverage from previous years for your shortlisted awareness days.

How to get your creative juices flowing?

There are many tactics CMG Communications use to create content. Firstly, we begin every day by reading a newspaper to get an idea of the stories that are being covered. This is also one of the reasons why we follow journalists on social media: you can get some great insight into the type of stories they cover and their topics of interest. We also follow other content creators and PR pros on social media for campaign inspiration. We save our favourite campaigns on Pocketand review these when trying to come up with new ideas.

We also use Google Trends and Answer the Public to find out what the public is searching for.

With awareness days specifically, we also check previous coverage of similar awareness days to see if we can spot recurring themes.

Once you have your story idea in mind, it’s worth doing a recceto see if any journalists are interested in your idea. You could spend weeks working on a story that’s not of interest, so a little bit of pre-outreach could save you loads of time in the long run.

You can find a list of awareness days here.

Chanelle McGarry
Chanelle McGarry is Digital PR Consultant at CMG Communications, based in Cornwall, UK.