How to effectively use awareness days and national holidays to raise awareness of your brand

Feb 12, 2024
4 mins

Increasing brand awareness through PR can be difficult when you’re relying on company announcements or news hijacking alone. A PR strategy that solely focuses on these content pillars doesn’t lend itself well to a consistent stream of media coverage. 

Instead, it’s always useful to consider the impact of national and international events in your public relations strategy - because journalists mark these events in their diaries in search of related stories. 

So, we’ve mapped out a simple three step guide to help you leverage national events to increase your brand awareness through PR. 

  1. Find relevant events, holidays, and awareness days

Knowing what events are happening and why journalists are interested in them is a really good place to start. And as the UK events calendar is jam-packed with public holidays, awareness weeks, and other cultural moments you’ll have no problem cherry picking the ones that align with your brand. 

It’s easiest to first consider the events we all know about because these are the events that large percentages of the population celebrate… so naturally they’re hot topics. 

Journalists like to write what they know their audiences will want to read, and so if a journalist knows that people are prepping for Christmas, they’ll tailor stories around this for the highest readership. Que the gift guides and product reviews. 

Once you’ve considered the key cornerstone events, start looking for annual awareness days, weeks, and months - University College London has a great wellbeing calendar. These have proliferated over the past decade as people fight for attention, so it’s important that you only pick those that already have a significant audience, and that are relevant to your business. 

One easy way to check whether an awareness event is popular or not is to check media coverage of the event in previous years. If you can’t find any, then it’s probably not worth your time.

Remember to think about how these events relate to your company, and try to note down only those awareness days that your company can prove a real connection to. We successfully placed our client, co-founder of Zigzag (the app for puppy training), on Sky News in aid of National Pet Day (11th April), and used National Puppy Day as another hook to build awareness around their app. 

  1. Consider potential media coverage

Contributing to the conversation, taking it further, and exploring new insight are all big green ticks for journalists. They want to engage their readers with new ideas that haven’t been talked about before. 

Once you’ve determined which events are relevant to your company, figure out how you might contribute to media coverage of that event and help build the conversation. We’d suggest you open this task up to your entire team to offer a wider perspective of the topic at hand. 

You can also review previous media coverage of that event for ideas. For example, lifestyle sections of newspapers and magazines often publish gift guides in the run up to Christmas like this one that we secured for our client Cubitts.


Ah yes, there’s always a however. Christmas is one of the largest gift-giving times of the year meaning gift guides are highly saturated and super competitive. Our advice would be to show how your product or service is unique, different, and why it’s worth a spot. For instance we placed our client Treedom, who offer a digital tree planting service, in the Independent's Valentines Gift Guide.

Lots of companies will be doing a similar thing, so try to come up with as unique an idea as possible. Try to think about how your company specifically relates to that event, and what it can offer that other competitors can’t.

  1. Contact journalists with your ideas

Timing is super important when trying to promote your brand on a specific annual event or awareness day. It’s important to have a good knowledge of how different media organisations work to get it right.

Some magazines, for example, work three months ahead of its print publication so you’ll need to contact journalists far in advance of the actual date.

You don’t want to contact the journalist too early, because this might mean that they ignore your email as irrelevant. At the same time, you don’t want to leave it too late and risk other competitors getting there first.

Communication with journalists is important here. And don’t be afraid of asking how best your company can help them cover awareness days and national holidays. Remember  journalists will want your help in filling their publishing schedules. It’s your job to find out how best you can do that.

Once the event or awareness day has passed, make sure you review your successes and failures. Learn from this information, and use it when you try again the following year.


We must caveat that this approach is not - and we repeat not -  relevant for all brands. Working closely with your PR agency will help you to determine if your brand can (and should) jump on the bandwagon of a national event or awareness day!

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