Beware of awareness days

There's now an awareness day/week/campaign for everything you can possibly think of - from 'World Cancer Day' to 'Jazz Appreciation Week' (yes, really!).

Great hook for a media story, right? Wrong. There are now SO many awareness days that some journalists are wary of commissioning stories around them. I've even spoken to journalists/editors who flat out refuse to cover stories hooked on awareness days.

Does these mean you can't use awareness days - or create one of your own - to get press coverage? Not at all.

But you do need to be aware that unless it’s *really* unusual or controversial (like National Orgasm Day, for example), an awareness day is not a story.

What you’re doing to mark the day (or week or month) might be.

With that in mind, here’s some ideas on how to use awareness days to get media coverage for your business or brand:

Publish some research (or analyse some existing data) like the walking charity Living Streets did to promote their awareness month last year.

Say something interesting in an opinion piece, first person article or round-up piece.

Host an unusual event - like the organisers of Baby Loss Awareness Week who ask people to light a candle and leave it burning for an hour every year on October 15.

Launch a campaign - these men did.

Share something useful - like six creative ways to inspire girls in Science or things you didn’t know about animals.

Do something unusual - like lighting up the Eiffel Tower for breast cancer or turning buildings blue for autism.

Your key takeaway point? While awareness days are not a media story, they can  provide a excellent 'hook' for one. And the more creative you can be in your approach, the better.

Find this useful? You might also enjoy this little piggy got some press coverage and five easy ways to get press coverage.