How to use national awareness days for your content creation

National days can be a great inspiration for your content (blogs, social media, podcasts and so on) but you can easily get it wrong! Some national days are really important to the press and to your customers such as Mental Health Awareness Day or Anti Bullying Week but there are some that hardly anyone cares about such as National Pink Flamingo Day (which is June 23rd in case you are wondering).

So why are some important and how can we use them to our advantage - and more importantly, how can we make sure we don’t get it wrong.

The national days that resonate with the press are the ones that can make a difference to our lives, the ones where we strive to make a change such as International Women’s Day. These are the ones that everyone talks about from the TV to newspapers and of course in business too, so these are the ones to create content around. This is the time to write a blog sharing your story (everyone loves to read your story) and then share it to social platforms such as Linked In and Facebook. Make sure on Twitter and Instagram you use the hashtag so other people can see you are writing about this topic, and to invite conversations.

By using hashtags you are also more likely to be found by the press or someone that can help your business. For example, last week was World Book Day and I tweeted a photo of my kids (along with millions of others) but this time I tagged David Walliams as my children dressed as two of his book characters as well as the hashtag. He saw it and retweeted it and replied too, sharing my account to his 2 million followers. This was the picked up by others due to me using the correct hashtag on the right day first thing in the morning. So don’t forget to use it!

But there are other events in the calendar that you can create content around such as The Oscars. If you are in the fashion or beauty industry this is a key event held annually that you can plan content for. For example, we created content for two clients on this topic; we shared our favourite dresses on Instagram Stories, our favourite look on the Instagram grid, and then of course shared this to other platforms. Importantly we shared our opinion on them too, why we liked it, tagging in the designers, using great hashtags.

You need to plan for these events, and don’t forget the key national days such as Valentine’s Day too. But with the smaller ones it is always best to check Twitter first to see if it is trending (popular) as you don’t want to create huge amounts for a random national day that no one cares about.

There are watch outs though.

A great example is the backlash last week about brands using International Women’s day to sell more products. The day’s purpose is to raise awareness about the need for parity, to work together for this but remembering that women in some parts of the world have a long way to go to be accepted as equal. So when brands try to sell their products off the back of it, especially as often they are made by young girls in hideous conditions, with very little pay - well it makes us feel uncomfortable. Actually it makes us angry, and you don’t want to be that brand. Here is a great example of what not to do.

The most important thing to do is to plan for them so you are not reactive. Maybe plan a whole campaign - for example if you are cake maker create content for the whole week with recipes and tips for National Baking Week.

Pitch your story to the press well in advance focusing on the national day or week also. I wrote a piece for The Daily Mail about my teetotal journey for Dry January (I pitched this early December) and also this piece about charity shops for Black Friday called Forget Black Friday, Choose Charity Shops Instead and this for Anti Bullying Week: 10 ways to deal with playground bullies (and I don’t mean the kids!).

To find out when these days and weeks are simply google them. Or why not join our membership group, The Hub, where we share them monthly with content ideas for you to go and create (as well as PR leads and weekly training and support)