#AwarenessDays are the new black

Written by:Allison Goodman, Account Coordinator with energi PR’s Healthcare Practice in Toronto

World Health Day, Daffodil Month, National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week, Parkinson’s Awareness Month, International Hemophilia Day, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month – these are just some of the awareness milestones that occur this April.

Although some may consider these to be merely special awareness days, we in the public relations business view them as key leveraging opportunities.

This day, week or month is the chance for organizations, associations and foundations alike to have their moment to shine and communicate their message and story to a captive audience. This is their opportunity to spread awareness for the disease area or condition that affects their stakeholders every day.

Some commemorate the given milestone with a major announcement, some with a news release and now, the more and more common tactic is through social media sharing. Perhaps an organization will develop a video or infographic that can be shared across all social media channels using a designated hashtag.

Go ahead and search one of the above awareness milestones that have recently passed or are ongoing on Twitter and you are sure to come across numerous mentions and shout-outs.

Let’s take, for example, this month’s Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Month campaign. Type #DaffodilMonth in the Twitter search tool and you are brought to countless tweets, videos, links and articles all with a common theme – a message of awareness, strength and courage. This hashtag brings together conversations, stories and encouragement supporting the Society, its efforts and those touched by cancer – either directly or indirectly.

In addition to healthcare-specific awareness milestones, health-related organizations can also leverage non-traditional milestones to share a message and engage a community. As PR practitioners, it is our chance to get creative and correlate our clients with these milestones, becoming engaged in a conversation that extends the reach of their message beyond its typical audience.

Other awareness days this month that can be connected to a health client’s message?

World Book Day – Is there a compelling book related to your client’s disease area? Well, why not post a link to the book with the hashtag #WorldBookDay?

International Jazz Day – Did you know that Natalie Cole, jazz vocalist and daughter of the great Nat King Cole, received a life-saving kidney transplant? This is an opportunity to spread awareness and encourage the importance of organ and tissue donation.

These milestones, and others, are endless… and so are the possibilities.

Allison Goodman

Allison Goodman