When is the last time you read a New York Times headline touting “Happy Fruit & Veggies Month?”
Not ringing a bell? You may be surprised to learn that there’s a national health observance called “Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month” with its own official toolkit on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ website.
These days, it seems there’s an awareness day, week or month for everything, which can muddy the water when it comes to getting marketing traction for worthy causes or more well-known observances.
Here are a few ways to cut through the clutter when leveraging awareness holidays:
1) Humanize the observance – Your media pitch or ad may be timely around National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, but telling the story of a breast cancer patient is more memorable and likely to resonate.
2) Be the early bird – Many media outlets create special sections for larger awareness holidays, so reach out with plenty of lead time to see what they are planning from a paid and earned media perspective.
3) Hone your stats – Most health-related awareness holidays gain traction when there is significant research or new data released that supports the cause. Challenge yourself to only use two or three of the most impactful statistics, so you don’t overwhelm your audience with numbers.
4) Don’t force it – There are a lot of obscure awareness holidays out there, many of which are a stretch from a marketing or media relations perspective. Your story should be strong enough to stand alone. If you’re relying on an observance nobody has ever heard of to be your timely hook, you may need to rethink your approach.
5) Remember your employees – Marketers tend to rely on awareness weeks or months for external outreach, but they are equally as effective for internal campaigns. Take the opportunity to share tips with employees or bring in an expert for a fun lunch-and-learn that aligns with the awareness theme.
6) Make it visual – When crafting your message, think through how it translates visually. If you’re telling a patient story, create a social media graphic with their picture and a quote overlay. If you have great data, design an interesting graphic that can go along with your media pitch or be shared across social platforms. Visuals increase engagement and naturally draw our eye, making it more likely your content will be noticed and remembered.