By Kenny Campbell on 16 June 2017
Just for one day, could we all be unaware?
There are some aspects of PR that leave me feeling grubby.
Calling in a favour because a story is a bit rubbish, that’s always a grubby moment. I’ve been on the receiving end of that approach as an editor and it’s left such a miserable memory that I’ve not yet resorted to that technique as a PR bod; not yet.
Badly-constructed surveys, that have a cracking headline but no real data to back up that headline, also belong in the grubby box of PR grot.
And then there’s the ‘Awareness Day/Week/Month’.
We all plug these Awareness Days into our plans, of course we do. Apart from anything else, they offer the chance of a quick, naughty hit on behalf of a client, a bit like a PR Pot Noodle.
But, for years now, there have been so many Awareness Days/Weeks/Months that they’ve largely become meaningless.
The big causes – medical, environmental, child-focused and suchlike – have successful Awareness events because they are already big causes.
The odd quirky ones – Record Store Day or Wrong Trousers Day – work by appealing to a particular sort of person, targeting the individual rather than the cause.
Then, so help me, there are all those others. And there are a LOT.
Be Nice To Nettles Week (May, UK): for a whole week? If you’re nice to nettles for a week, you’ll be beating them back for the rest of the year. And scratching.
National Chip Week (February, UK): why do the killer carbohydrates get a full seven days when International Childhood Cancer Day (February, global) gets but 24hours?
Puppies, penguins and kittens, they all get their own days. I know, I know, there’s a huge need to help our animal friends but have you heard of the internet? Every day – and I mean EVERY day – is puppy, penguin and kitten day.
We have long since passed peak Awareness, jumped the Awareness shark (Shark Awareness Day, July, global), gorged on this PR Pot Noodle (National Noodle Day, October, global).
And the worst part of it is, as PRs, we are all too aware of Awareness fatigue. Which may be why one of the least successful Awareness campaigns I’ve stumbled across is … PR National Awareness Day, which appears to have launched and spluttered out simultaneously in July 2013.
Awareness? I rest my case (Handbag Day, October, global).