Commemorative events to newsjack all year long

Newsjacking isn’t just for the Super Bowl or major holidays. Throw a dart a calendar and you’ll find a day, week, or month devoted to everything from pancakes to bedbug awareness. Which one’s for you?

Oh, man. Don’t tell me you missed the chance to newsjack National Peanut Cluster Day .

National Umbrella Month is already gone for this year, and perhaps you’re unsure whether National Shower With a Friend Day is quite in keeping with your organization’s image.

Fear not. Both Melba Toast and Something on a Stick days lie just around the corner. And since the calendar is crammed full of commemorative days, weeks and months, you can align with a cause or seek retweets among those who celebrate Bunsen burners , canine fitness , safe digging or just about anything else.

Who knows? You might even get a little social media love from a historical photo of a guy flipping flapjacks .

Awareness holidays

Awareness events proliferate in the health care sector, where those who suffer from or seek cures for various conditions use such events to raise their profile—and sometimes money. Aligning with existing events helps in a major way, says Scott Levely, digital communications lead at Hamilton Health Sciences in Ontario.

“For example, during Seniors Month in June, we know there is a lot of conversation and attention around geriatric health care already,” he said. “So inserting ourselves into that conversation provides an added boost in terms of reaching our potential audience. I often say that it’s a lot easier to ride a wave than it is to create one.”

Which explains why Hamilton was commemorating National Colon CancerAwareness Month Wednesday with a Facebook Live webcast of, well, a colonoscopy.

Contacted minutes before the webcast, Levely said the advance promotion had earned more than 50,000 impressions and engagements on social media. “That reach alone . . . increased awareness about the importance of a colonoscopy as a screening method for a preventable and treatable cancer,” he said.

From self-harm to trafficking

Earlier this year, Psychology Today published a list of national awareness events that was heavy on serious topics. From Self-Harm Awareness Month to National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, there are myriad events that health care providers or philanthropical organizations can participate in and use to reach people who are hurting.

For bosses with a Napoleon complex, how about commemorating National I Am in Control Day ? This holiday, which surely is celebrated in some organizations with swigs of bourbon and the firing of AK-47s into the sky, commemorates former Secretary of State Alexander Haig’s comments the day of an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

As Ragan was rushed into surgery, Haig announced, “As of now, I am in control here in the White House.”

The only trouble is, a write-up in the website suggests that the day is really for personalities on the opposite end of the spectrum from the hard-charging Haig.

“Begin the steps that are needed for you to feel that you are in control of the things (at least those that can be controlled) in your life,” the website recommends.

Don’t like the list of days, weeks or months that everybody else is celebrating? Make up your own.

“You can just do that,” Mike Kruger, then a Commerce Department official, told a Ragan Training audience in his talk, ” Bringing Sexy Back: Engaging social media tactics you can use, even if you’re not a big brand .”

“There’s no official council on weeks,” he said. “You can just declare it to be International Blue Tablecloth Week, and it’s International Blue Tablecloth Week.”

The Commerce Department worked with one of its agencies, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to declare an Invasive Species Week, and others began commenting on it.

This may explain the proliferation of oddball commemorations, such as National Yo-Yo Day and Bat Appreciation Month . There are also websites that will “register” your day if your conscience won’t let you make a declaration in the name of your chief executive.

At any rate, there are plenty of commemorations for those eager to newsjack something like Bedbug Awareness Week , when business around the world presumably halts while people scratch themselves. For that matter, has your social media team given any thought to National Lost Sock Memorial Day ?

“Now is the time to let go and move on,” the National Lost Sock Memorial Day website urges. “Clean out all of your left-behind socks. Make sock puppets or recycle those old socks by reusing them as dust rags! Say your final goodbyes to your lost socks using #LostSockMemorialDay.”

And while you’re at it, there’s still plenty of time to create a campaign for National Lumpy Rug Day .


Topics: PR

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