Awareness days: PR advice and tips from Louise Akers

Campaign Collective Member Louise Akers appeared as a guest speaker at the PRCA Charity and NFP Group event, “Awareness days, weeks and months: what works?” on Thursday 15 September.

The webinar, which welcomed around 100 attendees, set out to address the pertinent topic of awareness days and how useful they are for charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Louise Akers’ extensive experience in media relations meant that she was able to provide a lot of advice with webinar participants. Louise shared tips on how to get involved with a pre-existing awareness day, week or month, and how to start your own. She also discussed the ways in which getting involved with awareness days can boost your campaign’s profile, resulting not just in media exposure, but also fundraising increases and even policy change.

Louise used examples from her work with Melanoma Focus for Skin Cancer Awareness Month, showing how a smaller organisation can really raise the profile of its campaign through both engaging with a wider awareness month but also providing unique perspectives, resulting in huge media coverage. She described how thinking outside the box can help a small charity when engaging with a huge awareness month, and used the example of using advertising boards in motorway services during the summer holidays as a creative way to get exposure.

Louise’s work for the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce was also cited as a good example of how a small organisation can create their own awareness day, resulting in massive media coverage and statements of support from high-profile politicians. Louise also talked through some of the common pitfalls that organisations make when attempting to engage with awareness days, with the example of several companies being called out for their gender pay gaps after posting support for International Women’s Day.

Watch the event on the PRCA TV YouTube channel below.