Michelle Han March 11, 2016 | 11:37:40

Beyond Green Beer: PR Ideas For St. Patrick’s Day

For those in PR who love to take advantage of holidays, St. Patrick’s Day can be among the most fun. After all, what other occasion calls for lunching on green bagels and green beer? But even the most die-hard followers of the Irish Apostle can tire of the same old tricks year after year. Not to worry – our team tapped the luck of the Irish to cultivate fresh ideas for generating some good PR around St. Patrick’s Day.

Win new followers. Social media is increasingly a tool for PR teams to work with, right alongside earned media and content development to drive awareness and engagement for your company or brand. Take advantage of the festive holiday frenzy and win new followers on social media platforms by getting clever about how you incorporate St. Patrick’s Day hashtags. #luckoftheirish is sure to be trending, as is #potofgold and of course, #stpatricksday. And don’t neglect a St. Pat’s Day push on social media if B2B PR is your game — social media is equally relevant for the B2B crowd, as we wrote about recently here. Inject a little competition for your internal communications team and set a goal for how many new followers you’d like to earn on each platform. Make it a public campaign and give a prize away to the follower who pushes you over your goal.

Try a contest. A festive holiday lends itself to driving engagement on social media. Think of a relevant St. Patrick’s Day Sweepstakes idea, or best use of your product or service in a St. Patrick’s costume or activity, and ask followers to photograph their entries, putting them in the running for a prize. The contest is bound to add to your following, as mentioned above, and drive engagement and awareness for your brand.

Ideas for entertaining. Does your company or brand make or do anything relevant for partying? The National Retail Federation estimates St. Patrick’s Day generates roughly $4.6 billion in spending on festivities. With that bit of data on hand, media will be looking to help viewers and readers with great ideas for entertaining and frolicking — moving beyond green beer, of course. Come up with a fresh list of new ideas that will catch people’s attention to offer up to entertainment and lifestyle media. Think across the entire spectrum of the holiday’s festivities, from decor and fun accessories to food and drink, to music and party games.

Make a big splash. In other words, try a PR stunt, if the fit is right for you. Our favorite St. Patrick’s Day stunt is still the city of Chicago’s decades-old tradition of dying the Chicago River green. If making a big splash is up your alley, be sure to check out our post on the secrets to a successful PR stunt from last year.

Why stop at St. Patrick’s Day? Every month is filled with reasons to celebrate. The creative PR team keeps a calendar for the year to make sure no day is left unrecognized.  There are offbeat holidays like the upcoming National Potato Chip Day, and there are also significant times of year that some companies can really “own.” Crenshaw cleverly leveraged Daylight Saving Time (coming this weekend) to great effect for Sleepy’s, which has reaped PR benefits for years.

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