Capitalizing on Special Events

Philip Manzano • May 26, 2017

Got something big on the calendar? Here are some tips to get your organization engaged. The post Capitalizing on Special Events appeared first on Keela.

In Canada, we are celebrating the country’s 150 th birthday. The federal government has been working hard to acknowledge the milestone with special events throughout the year. It has been a huge rallying cry for the entire country – with everyone on board.

With so many people paying attention to the same messaging, it creates an interesting marketing opportunity. As someone working in the non-profit sector, you immediately start thinking: how can I get some of that attention?

Capitalizing on national holidays and major events has always been a great technique to engage a larger network of volunteers and donors. Think of it like a hashtag on the end of a tweet. Instead of joining a conversation, you’re joining a huge marketing campaign … that someone else paid for.

So, how do you do it effectively? Here are some tips:

Look for alignment.

Taking advantage of a large audience is great – but there is no use forcing a square peg into a round hole. If there is no real alignment to your work, it’s best not to stretch out your messaging to make it fit. Stay true to your work at all times!

But if you are able to find true alignment between your work and the national holiday, talk about those points of intersection. One of the best ways to do this is to frame support for your organization’s work as an active way to celebrate the national holiday.

Add value.

Those who are paying attention to marketing for a national holiday are doing so for a reason. They want to know more about it. They want to be part of it. So anything your organization does should not only compliment this work – it should add more value to it for the audience (and your potential new supporter).

An interesting way to do this is through fun facts. Share some interesting notes about your organization and how it links to the celebration. You can talk about how your organization’s work is enhanced by the celebration or how individuals can enhance your work by celebrating. Doing any of these small things helps to give the audience a deeper reason for paying attention. It gives them a bigger purpose, and that is a huge positive.

Truly participate.

As an organization – don’t just talk the talk. Make sure you walk the walk. The last thing you want to do when joining a conversation or celebration is come off as insincere – especially because it’s obvious.

  • Have your staff participate in local events
  • Change up your social media avatars to match the theme
  • Post special messages on your online profiles
  • Take meaningful action and participate in initiatives that align with the holiday

Doing these things is fun for your team, helps to build your brand’s alignment with the celebration, and also positions you as a credible voice within the celebration. You’re not just an outsider. You’re a participant.

Respect the celebration.

Each celebration or holiday has an origin and a meaningful story. It is your responsibility as an organization to fully understand these celebrations before trying to jump on the bandwagon. Take some time to research the history of the holiday. The fact is, sometimes these origins can shock you. Something that seems to align with your cause on the surface can prove to be the opposite when you do a bit of digging.

But much more than finding out that you are not aligned, doing your research serves a greater purpose. You will learn about what is appropriate, and what isn’t. This will help to put a fence around your big ideas, and will guide you to something that is both respectful and effective.

So try out some of these tips the next time a big holiday or celebration is coming up. We’d love to hear some of the results!