In the spotlight series: Are national days dead?

Whether you love or loathe national days – it looks like they’re here to stay! So, it’s worth knowing how to effectively incorporate them into your communications strategy.

It only takes a quick search on Google to find a national day, week, or month for pretty much anything. National days once marked religious or historical events exclusively but have now evolved to include causes, some are fun and some are meaningful.

Whilst some businesses are quick to cram national days into their social media calendars, others are reluctant, and stick to crafting content around their key brand messaging. But why? Is it because national days are dead, or are brands wary of creating a “cancel” worthy campaign?

Read on to find out how your brand can make the most of national days with Senior Communications Executive Bronia.

Do your research

Before jumping at the next national day in the calendar because you’re in need of some content, it’s important to take some time and do your research.

There are a few things to consider when producing content around national days:

  • Origins – Where did this national day come from? Make sure you know why the day was created to ensure that any content you do post isn’t off-message or insensitive.
  • Searchability – What is the benefit of celebrating this day? Is this going to boost your brand’s visibility or is it a niche celebration?
  • Audience – Who is the audience you’re trying to reach, and will they be interested in your content for this day? If not, don’t waste your time.

Make it relevant and purposeful

It is vital that brands take care when crafting content around a national day, especially if it is one of cultural or historical significance. Although second on our list, this tip is the most important if you are hoping to avoid a national day marketing fail.

Without careful thought, a post for a national day can be more harmful than beneficial. Let’s look at Pride Month, for example. June traditionally kickstarts the unfurling of rainbow flags for Pride Month and, with it, a barrage of social media posts celebrating the occasion.

However, whilst some posts really hit the mark, showcasing their commitments to the LGBTQIA+ community, others fall short and can cause international embarrassment.

To celebrate Pride Month in 2022, Burger King Austria shared their “Time to be proud” campaign, centred around the Pride Whopper. The concept quickly received international criticism and ridicule, and even led to the agency issuing an apology for the offence caused – ouch!

This example only reinforces the importance of taking care when incorporating national days into your marketing strategy. Make sure that you have put thought behind your content and made it relevant to your brand’s purpose and values.

Seize the opportunity

Whilst we wouldn’t suggest relying on national days to form the backbone of your marketing campaign, national days are far from dead. The key is to use them wisely and strategically to enhance your already-established communications strategy.

Used in this way, national days can boost visibility and increase awareness for your brand, your values, and your mission. Think about how you can tie a national day to your CSR commitments, the launch of new products, or even a key piece of research you have just published.

So, now you’ve done your research and carefully crafted your content, it’s time to seize the opportunity. Check out our very own Opportunity Spots calendar here to find a host of upcoming national days for your future content planning.

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