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 2022.
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 wealth of advice to participants.
In her presentation (you can access slides here), Louise began by urging attendees to carefully consider their aims and objectives before beginning to plan any activity. This must include weighing up the pros and cons of creating your own awareness day (or week or month) or trying to piggyback on existing moments.
After sharing information about three successful campaigns she has worked on in recent years (for Melanoma Focus, Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce and International Menopause Society) Louise’s final slide included a checklist of things to do to make your awareness plans land well. This includes making sure that you have a real news hook, as journalists aren’t interested in awareness days in and of themselves without a news story attached to it.
Louise shared tips on how to get involved with pre-existing awareness days, weeks or months, 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. 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 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.