Olivia Bennett November 29, 2011 | 09:45:48

PR Holidays To Hijack

Yesterday, we celebrated Cyber Monday, a day that was brought to us by Shop.org in 2005 after coining the phrase to recognize this day as the biggest online shopping day.  It’s not a “real” holiday but it is treated like one, and turned into PR gold every year.

There are many examples of wonderful and wacky holidays that can be gently “hijacked” for PR purposes. Oh, how we “relished” National Pickle Day when working a gherkin campaign. We also helped antivirus software brand avast! take advantage of a holiday that only a brand called avast! could – the quirky International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Clients that we can attach to an obscure, but not ridiculous, holiday can provide great natural news hooks if handled properly.

Below are a few tips on ways that we think you can use the ordinary or not so ordinary holidays and turn them into PR-extraordinary.

Know your product.  You would be shocked by the number of bizarre and unique holidays that exist.  Chances are, if a product exists, there’s a holiday (official or unofficial) that pertains. Did you know there’s an unofficial National Hat Day in January? Lids PR team must celebrate it every year!

Make a natural connection.  Just because it’s Daylight Savings Time doesn’t mean that only watch brands or smoke alarm companies benefit.  What about mattress companies or pillow makers?  What use is that extra hour of sleep if you’re sleeping on a bad mattress or a lumpy pillow? See what we did here for client, Sleepy’s? Make sure your client connection makes sense and the idea appears unforced.

Tap into an issue or cause.  Social initiatives and nonprofit organizations are a great way to get everyday companies involved in special days, weeks or months of recognition.  Your client has a current campaign devoted to reading literacy and donates to the cause?  Well you’re in luck, because there is both a Family Literacy Day and a National Book Lovers Day.  You can use these both these “holidays” to spread the word of their donations and CSR programming.

Get creative, just not too creative.  Chances are you can use your smarts and contort a holiday to your advantage, but be sure to keep it within limits.  Most likely media won’t go for something that’s too much of a stretch (National Mud Pack Day, anyone?). They will go for something that’s clever. Like, for example, Publicity Stunt Week, appropriately timed for April 1-7.

What are some of your hijacked holidays?

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