PR people have created a tactic so that corporations can revel in the same kind of victory as Hallmark. “Declaring a Day” is a great way for causes to promote awareness and spark engagement, especially with the level of participation on social networks.
Recently, while working with a nonprofit organization
promoting clean drinking water worldwide, we decided to choose a day and name it Clean Water Day
locally to promote the cause and educate the public. There are a few things you should consider when putting together a program like this or declaring a day.
1. Ask whether it makes sense to declare a day and what people will be doing on this day.
You need something in mind. This works best with nonprofits and cause-related issues, but if you’re a video game company promoting an agenda, this could work for you in the right circumstances.
What is the overall purpose and how does this fall in with your main line of business? Who are you targeting and what do you want them to do? This is a critical part of the development of your campaign, this could mean the difference between a great project and a bad publicity stunt.
2. Get the word out—before the day arrives.
Unlike some PR campaigns, the news should be delivered long before the day of your event. Ideally, work at least one month out to properly reach the media and your target audience, which you should figure out early on in the planning stages of your project.
Reach out to local media if its a regional day or even national newspaper calendars if its across the U.S. Make sure you also identify niche bloggers; generally, they are happy to promote good campaigns that apply to their audience.
3. Determine the call to action.
This is the most important part of your program. If you don’t have a purpose, it’s just a bad PR stunt. Whether it’s education, awareness, participation, or donations, you absolutely must
have something for your audience to accomplish. If not, any witty campaign is a waste of time.
4. Decide how you will measure success.
Make sure you set these measurements before hand. You may want to see how many Facebook fans you pick up, how many messages are sent, how much money is collected. The measurements can be a combination of element. This is not only a great way to determine the success of your program, but also to justify it to the people in charge. Don’t forget to add this to your portfolio, too.
Creating a “Hallmark holiday” is a great way to try something a little different and creative. The key is to think it through and make sure that it makes sense for your goals.
Ronjini Mukhopadhyay is a public relations professional with eight years of experience in both agency and in-house public relations. A version of this story first appeared on her company website The Silver Telegram.