What’s in a national day?

As PRs, we often rely on awareness days or months to round out our campaigns. Planning a literacy campaign? Let’s incorporate World Book Day. Got a new meat-free burger? Makes sense to launch during National Vegetarian month.

We’ve a day to mark everything – some ridiculous, some a bit of fun and some that truly matter. And when that’s the case, we need to elevate our campaigns accordingly or they count for nothing but a marketing ploy.

A handful of social media posts that jump on the bandwagon no longer cut the mustard (National Mustard Day: 4 August). If organisations practice what they preach, they must employ campaigns that truly demonstrate their commitment to affect positive behavioural change.

Take last week’s International Women’s Day: it appeared to be the most successful ever, making national news and leading to countless inspirational campaigns. But will this actually lead to change? And how many of the organisations tweeting support actually have a gender pay gap or no women in their leadership team?

I’m passionate about social housing and am lucky enough to serve as a social media and marketing board member for the Midlands Women in Social Housing (WISH) networking group. As you might imagine, our organisation was in high demand around IWD.

The sector’s eyes were on us and we knew we’d have to do more than churn out a few social media posts. We decided to host a round-table to discuss the advancement of women in social housing, which generated truly insightful results.

But despite the overwhelmingly positive feedback, there was still a feeling of what’s next? How do we transition what we’ve learnt into real results? Now, we’ve a much clearer focus of our priorities, and the seeds of several exciting campaigns to affect real change have already been planted.

Don’t rely on the national days to hang your whole campaign, identify the ones that matter to your organisation and use them as a jumping off point to achieve your goals.