How to make your seasonal PR campaigns sticky

A good PR campaign is for life – not just for Christmas! Jennie Lindehoff tells us how to make a seasonal PR campaign last all year round.

These days, our calendar is jam-packed with awareness days dedicated to anything you can think of. You know the classics like Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas, but have you ever heard of National Asparagus Day or National Skipping Day?

Why focusing on ONE holiday will kill your PR campaign the very next day

Awareness days are great when it comes to digital PR. Obvious calendar highlights are always mentioned in the press, so if your campaign around the topic stands out a bit more, there’s a good chance it’ll get some media coverage. However, if your campaign only focuses on ONE vacation day, it will be old news the next day. This leaves you with a lot of hope that your campaign will go viral, and little success in your ability to recoup results if it doesn’t.

Luckily, there are ways to make your awareness campaigns permanent, giving you a better chance of success even after the holiday ends.

Things to Consider When Creating an Awareness Day Campaign

  1. Stand out but stay relevant

You won’t be the only PR agency or brand thinking of campaigns to launch in time for an awareness day or major calendar events like the Queen’s Jubilee, World Cups or Easter. It’s easy to get noticed, so be sure to create something that stands out, BUT remains relevant to your customer.

It’s very tempting to jump on a trend or topic that you know will be covered in the press, but if your customer has nothing to say in that space that relates to their products or services, you better spend the time and energy on a different campaign.

  1. Prepare and be ready weeks in advance

We know that reactive newsjacking campaigns work, but for a planned campaign, make sure it’s ready well in advance of the awareness day or event. 2 days before will not be enough! Look back over the last year’s articles to find out what times journalists publish articles on the subject.

  1. At the ideation stage, think about the different seasons it can be linked to

Make sure your campaign is only newsworthy for a very short time. Make it forever green and something you can reuse in the future. Not only for the same annual awareness day, but at any time of the year. If you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, an Easter campaign could fly at a different time of year (pun intended!).

  1. Do not mention the awareness day or event in the content

When writing the content for your PR campaign, it’s tempting to mention Awareness Day and its associations in the text, but try to avoid it if you can. If your clients’ website URL and title include the word Christmas, it will be difficult to reuse the campaign at another time of the year.

This also goes for visuals. For a Christmas campaign, it’s tempting to add green and red to the color palette or include a Christmas photo, but don’t. Instead, stick to your customers’ brand colors for evergreen use.

How we made a year-round Christmas campaign relevant for Dormeo

For Christmas last year, we wanted to create a PR campaign for our client Dormeo, a leading UK sleep brand.

Sleeping over the holidays is a trending topic, talking about keeping the kids up late to get a glimpse of Santa Claus, how lots of tasty food and treats can impact the way we sleep and of course, tips on how to get more sleep during this intense time.

12 Days of Christmas is a coined period in Christianity, a phrase we decided to skip on but instead adapted it for Dormeo and called it 12 sleeps to Christmas. Only to the press and on social networks… on the Dormeo site, we didn’t mention Christmas at all! On our client’s website, this is informative content listing 12 tips for better sleep.

To hurry, we featured it as 12 Sleeps Until Christmas before the festivities and in January we featured it as 12 Trending Sleep Tips to Fight the January Blues. During these two months, we made 31 hedging elements, with a total of 30 backlinks, of which MSN, Wales Online and Belfast Live. There is an opportunity for us to get even more results as it can easily be repurposed for any other time of the year.

Creating a campaign that skips seasonal awareness days that can be used year-round is simple, as long as you plan ahead. When approaching your campaign, just think about the following;

  1. Keep it relevant to your brand. Can’t link the season to your product? Save your energy for an awareness day that can!
  2. Plan ahead and know when to start your outreach.
  3. Think of other events and seasons that your campaign could be linked to.
  4. Do not mention the event in your campaign!

The rule of thumb is to avoid being cornered. A well-planned and relevant public relations campaign can build brand awareness for months or even years to come.

Want to know how you can use digital PR to boost your brand awareness? Contact one of our experts!

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