How to use Awareness Days to promote your pet business
Have you ever seen posts on social media about Awareness Days and National Days and thought you might like to create the same?
There are days to mark all kinds of different things from fun days such as Dress Up Your Pet Day to more serious ones such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
They’re used by PRs and social media managers to come up with campaigns and story ideas and you can use them in your content too.
Learn how Awareness and National Days work and how you can use them to promote your pet business, plus how to create one of your own.
You can listen to this as a podcast on the player link or as a blog post below.
What are Awareness Days and National Days?
Awareness Days and months are created to raise awareness of health conditions and illnesses so people can gain an understanding about a particular topic.
For example, during Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, you will see lots of coverage in the media and content online about the symptoms to look for.
Breast Cancer charities will fundraise during this month (and all year round), share important research, hold events and campaign for support.
National Days can be similar – they can be about health – like National No Smoking Day. But they can also be created by organisations and individuals.
For example, pet photographer Kerry Jordan from Fur and Fables created National Dog Photography Day, a day to celebrate our dogs.
Read or listen to her interview on her awareness day here: How to raise your profile with an Awareness Day
How do I find out about Awareness Days?
There are a range of websites that are free to use that list Awareness Days and National Days.
For example, you can use visit AwarenessDays.com and find dates in the diary for events taking place in the UK and overseas.
Another handy site is http://www.holidayscalendar.com/ and this will give you information on upcoming holidays and National Days.
I use Janet Murray’s Media Diary and Planner which is an A4 desk diary, so a physical product, and each month you can see the upcoming dates.
There’s also space to map out your content and social media posts and if you buy the diary, you’re sent an e mail each month with extra ideas.
The cost is £39 plus postage and you can order one here Janet Murray’s 2021 Media Diary*
- denotes an affiliate link. This means if you click through and buy the product, I will be paid a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay.
Another tool I’ve used is a downloadable planner from Katie Tovey Grindlay at Business Wonderland and you can find out more about Katie here www.businesswonderland.co.uk
Why would I use National Days and Awareness Days in my business?
We know we need to be visible and create content to attract potential customers and engage with our existing ones and using these key dates enables us to do this.
If you’re stuck for things to write on your website, newsletter or social media, by having a list of awareness days handy, you’ll have lots of ideas to inspire you.
You can post about pet related days but also anything that affects you or that is relevant to your business.
If you’re in Northumberland, you might want to write about Northumberland Day on May 24 – you could write about the best dog walks in Northumberland.
If you have a pet who has helped you with a health condition, you could write about it on an awareness day linked to that.
Using Awareness Days and National Days linked to your industry shows you have your finger on the pulse and can help people discover you.
For example, Caroline Wilkinson from Barket Place wrote about the importance of rest days to mark National Walk Your Dog Day and had 100,000 visits to her website from this one post.
Read it here: The importance of rest days for your dog
Be creative with your dates and try to do something out of the ordinary.
Using Awareness Days and National Days for media pitches
You can use the days to pitch to the media too.
Dog trainer Karen Boyce used National Dog Photography Day for a story idea for her local paper, The Leader, in Wales.
She gathered some photos from her clients and it led to a full page and an article online. It doesn’t have to be your day, you can use other people’s.
There are lots of National Days related to pets, such as Pet Obesity Awareness Day which takes on the second Wednesday of October.
This year, I did a feature with the PR for PitPat, a pet activity tracker, about a Border Terrier named Skip who had lost 1.5 kg after gaining weight in lockdown.
Read it here: Round hounds abound – Dog uses tracker to lose weight
This was great PR for PitPat who create activity trackers for dogs.
One of my clients Jude Davison, a dog walker from Devon, did a brilliant website, newsletter and social media campaign on the topic for her clients.
Read it here: The dog obesity disaster
Creating your own National or Awareness Day
You CAN create your own National or Awareness Day as Kerry’s example shows and it can be fantastic for raising awareness of you and your brand.
There are a few steps to follow.
The date needs to be relevant to you and what you do and you need to pick an appropriate day for the actual day.
You can register the day officially, and if your day is accepted, think about some activities to mark the event, such as media and social media campaigns or events.
Then you need to get people involved in the day, and that does involve a lot of work, but it is worth it as it puts you in the spotlight.
For example, I worked with Mahmood Reza, an accountant and founder of LoveMyAccountantDay earlier this year.
Read about it here: Love My Accountant Day
We put together a media plan, carried out research into the message behind the day, wrote a series of press releases and a social media campaign.
It was a great, fun day that led to coverage on BBC Radio, in the Metro, Real People magazine and he continues to be offered media opportunities.
The Awareness Day Masterclass for Pet Businesses
If you’d like to learn more about using Awareness Days and National Days, and how to launch your own, I have a class on this coming soon.
The Awareness Day Masterclass for Pet Businesses takes place on Tuesday November 10th at 1pm.
In it you will learn:
- How to use the days in your weekly social media content, blogs and website copy and media pitches without feeling lame or spammy.
- How to create your OWN Awareness Day.
- Where National Days and Awareness Days fail and how to avoid yours being a flop.
- How to promote your awareness day to raise your profile and create a buzz around a cause or the work you do.
You’ll come away with tonnes of ideas of how to use Awareness Days, and the exact steps to follow if you want to create your own.
Plus you’ll get worksheets and checklists, a pitch template and guide on what to include in your promo pack.
You will be sent the recording to download and keep following the session or to watch on replay if you can’t make it live.
Fancy joining us? Reserve your space for just £27 here.
If you’d like to book a Friday drop in session, here’s the link: 15 min chat with Rachel
If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read: How Kerry Jordan’s National Dog Photography Day went viral or How to create an awareness day for your pet business with Kerry Jordan
Hi, I’m Rachel, a freelance journalist and PR and content consultant and crazy dog lady!
I’ve written so many stories about animals and pet brands that I wrote a book on how pet entrepreneurs can do their own PR.
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