Group Gordon’s Erin Gaffney explains how organizations can authentically integrate national awareness moments into their marketing and media strategies.
Awareness days, weeks, and months are annual moments dedicated to amplifying a specific cause. For organizations across sectors, these observances are a great time to highlight your mission or values, fundraise, or educate the public. However, with so many voices jockeying to be part of the same conversation at the same time, it can be tricky to stand out.
The best ways to stand out are to be original in the content you are creating and to make your impact tangible.
Perfunctory participation in an awareness day, week, or month won’t get you noticed. Rather, take the time in the months leading up to the awareness event in question to think concretely about what your organization hopes to get out of participating. Which awareness moment makes the most sense for your organization to participate in and why? Of so many to pick from, which moments align most closely with your specific cause and the mission of your organization?
Once you’ve identified the main reason for your participation, you can begin thinking about how to achieve your goal. For example, if your goal is to raise awareness of an under-recognized or lesser-known issue associated with the awareness event, utilize your platforms to increase recognition and introduce your target audiences to the issue at hand. If you’re looking to make a splash about an associated new program by your organization, assess how that program will step up to meet the current moment.
The issues at the heart of awareness moments all have a multitude of layers depending on the angle that your organization brings to the discussion. For example, NYC-based nonprofit the Urban Resource Institute (URI) is a leading provider of domestic violence services in the country, but they approach how they support survivors in a more holistic manner than many similar organizations. During Financial Literacy Month in April, for example, URI decided to highlight their economic empowerment program and shared some of the most common signs of financial abuse, a frequently overlooked form of domestic violence, on Instagram. Their compilation of social media posts included resources for people experiencing domestic violence, including the NYC Hotline and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and shed light on a lesser-known aspect of financial literacy.
Another way to stand out from other organizations is to write, pitch, and place an original opinion article. However, this cannot be your traditional contributed article. In order to be successful, you must include a concrete argument or bold point of view related to the issue. Think about what’s going on in the news outside of your awareness moment and dig deeper to look critically at what that trend might mean for the issue at hand.
The best way to show a genuine interest in issue awareness is to make it a priority throughout the year, not just for a single day, week, or month. An awareness month is a great way to kick off an internal or external campaign that can continue throughout the year. Mental Health Month in May is the perfect time to launch a company-wide commitment to prioritizing mental health by offering added resources or programs to your employees.
Above all else, think about why you want to be involved in the awareness day, week, or month at hand, and think critically about what your engagement is contributing to the larger conversation.