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Earned media from calendar events
Is it too late for an April Fools Day Joke?

We often look to the calendar when brainstorming – after all it’s kind of a no-brainer you want to be part of the zeitgeist and what better way than focussing on pre-scheduled events that everyone is aware of.

It’s all well and good to design a social post with a bunny and a Happy Easter plastered on top OR create an advertising campaign around Christmas. It doesn’t have to be a well established holiday if you noticed last month was Pride Month in the US and brands were all quick to jump on the bandwagon.

But to really set yourself apart from the crowd you may want to focus your brain power on creating something a little out of the ordinary to get you noticed.

This classic (which had mixed reactions) is from a few of years ago

We are often inundated with tongue in cheek campaigns on April Fools or Halloween but the truly inventive ones get themselves shared and mentioned around the water coolers and on numerous media types.


Earned media: Any positive mention of my brand, created by someone other than me, published somewhere other than my site.

One of my favourite pranks (intentional or not) is the War of the Worlds (WotW) radio play by Orson Welles. As far as pranks go – it’s a doozy. Now, it wasn’t thought up by the marketing department nor was it intended to create the uproar that it did… But it did just that… and the earned media was amazing:

 

 

Imagine all that coverage – One might argue… what a waste – there was really no strategy as to how to best take advantage of the prank. But in all reality, we are still talking about it today and perhaps we don’t know that it was the Mercury Theatre but indeed we remember Orson Welles (Citizen Kane not withstanding) is so synonymous with WotW that one has to ask whether we you are talking about HG or Orson when talking Welles/Wells in relation to WotW. The full and rather interesting story on WotW can be found here.

Another great way to inspire people is to let them in on the joke NPR for their April Fool’s joke was:

Source: NPR

 

It inspired over 2000k comments and lots of goodwill to NPR for those in on the joke.

 

 

And of course, Google always does a great effort here is a list, but this is pretty cool

It’s not all April Fools obviously; Easter and Anzac Day have just passed by with their share of earned media attempts from (not always successfully)

Our series on Super Bowl advertising here and here whilst paid for, often turns into earned media that keeps on giving.

Other sporting events are a great for earned media not least of which the world cup.

Focussing on the calendar doesn’t have to mean yearly events you can also glom on to major events in general like the upcoming election or sticking with the political theme the same sex marriage vote caused a lot of companies to take sides leading up to the event and even after.

You might be thinking is this a task for PR or for your marketing team to be honest it’s both I think Alex Honeysett hit the nail on the head over at The Muse


 

“The truth is, you can’t market without doing a little PR, and you can’t do PR without a little marketing. The end goals—selling products and making people love a company—are too intertwined: If your products are terrible, your company probably won’t be viewed favourably by the public, and if people aren’t connecting with your overall brand, they’re probably not going to buy your products.”


So the key really is to have fun with it, it helps keep your brand front and centre in your audience’s mind – it doesn’t have to be big budget just a cool little nugget of an idea can grow and catch on. If you need help with the nuggets give us a bell.

 

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Written By: Rob