In the world of Public Relations and Social Media, awareness days are known to divide a few opinions. Some will say that they can be risky, and a less creative approach for generating media coverage, but there’s no denying that they’re a great way to connect with audiences on specific causes and relevant issues.
Media outlets are renowned for covering awareness days, so not only do they serve a great purpose in drawing attention to important calendar events and occasions, they also provide a great opportunity for brands to generate media coverage and gain exposure, giving your PR campaigns, stunts or social content a relevant newshook.
You’d honestly be surprised that there is an awareness day for pretty much anything. Sibling day, chocolate day, cocktail day – you name it!
Looking at the awareness days in a year, we can break these down into three key areas: recurring annual holidays, 2023-specific events, and hero awareness days. These are all easy to plan for if you have the right strategy, so feel free to pop your thinking caps on and see if there are any relevant to a current idea or campaign in the pipeline.
I’m sure we all know about these already, and if you don’t, you’re definitely missing a trick as these should be marked in all our calendars. Usually centered around seasonal celebrations; think Pancake Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Halloween and Christmas – all of these holidays offer a wealth of opportunities for PRs to create campaigns and press office ideas
If you’re thinking of planning a campaign around one of these, the best thing to do is to plan your campaign well in advance, and to try and think of outside-the-box ideas to ensure cut through in the highly saturated media landscape. There are endless angles to explore that will really make your campaign hit and position your brand as thought-leader within the subject.
Some key 2023 annual holidays for the diary:
- Father’s Day – 18 June
- Halloween – 31 October
- Bonfire Night – 5 November
- Thanksgiving – 23 November
- Christmas – 25 December
Here, we have our 2023-specific holidays. As PR professionals, we need to make sure we are fully aware of any key events that will be taking place unique to each year, and predict which awareness days are going to be the most talked about in the press, and identify the relevancy to all of our clients.
These events are typically high-anticipated national events and tend to be around sports, big anniversaries or anything to do with the state and the royals. For example, this year marks HRH King Charles III’s Coronation, is already becoming a huge focus for the press even now. To get ahead of the curve, we can think about whether or not clients’ offerings have something to say about this particular occasion, and then ensure we jump on this in plenty of time to give us opportunity to cut through.
Some key 2023-specific holidays for the diary:
- HRH King Charles III’s Coronation, London UK – 6 May
- Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final, Liverpool UK – 13 May
- FIFA Women’s World Cup, Australia & New Zealand – 20 July-20 August
- Netball World Cup, South Africa, July 28–6 August
- Rugby World Cup, France – 8 September–28 October
- Ryder Cup 2023, Italy – 29 September–1 October
- ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, India – October-November
We also have our classic awareness days that we can jump on for each of our clients during the year. These can be more tricky to plan for as they may not be as widely talked about in the media, but content can easily be prepped in advance once the right awareness days have been identified. One thing to bare in mind is that some of these awareness days can be super niche, and may not be well-known in the media landscape, which can make it even trickier to land coverage. But you could look at it the other way, because the more niche the awareness day, the more opportunity there is for your client to really ‘own’ the space that they are an expert in.
Some awareness days to expect in 2023:
- Earth Day – 22 April
- Pride Month – June
- National BBQ Week – 29 May-4 June
- World Environment Day – 5 June
- Clean Beaches Week – 1-7 July
- Great British Pea Week – 3-9 July
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October
- Black History Month – October
- Yorkshire Pudding Day – 13 October
- Cheese Toastie Day – 27 October
- World Television Day – 21 November
- Pigs in Blankets Day – 5 December
A top tip from me
It’s definitely worth exploring whether an awareness day is going to be worth basing a campaign off, and there are some great ways of finding out whether they’re worth perusing:
@BuzzSumo (twitter) has a really useful content analyser that can tell you the number of articles on a particular topic as well as the number of engagements on social media. It’s worth double checking that the audience is there for your awareness day, because if it’s not, journalists are a lot less likely to pick up your content.
It may not be worth jumping on an awareness day for your client if there is only a loose connection, as this may not only waste your time, but make the brand come across as slightly less authentic. It must be relevant and you need to ensure you’re adding to the conversation with your brand.
Happy newsjacking and awareness day searching!
If you want to know more about how we can help elevate your PR strategy through awareness days, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org