Everyone has heard of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which happens every October, but there are dozens of other health holidays, observances and awareness months throughout the year. Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month or that September is Healthy Aging Month?
Health holidays provide a great opportunity for healthcare PR pros to gain exposure for their clients.
- Plan ahead. It’s important to have a plan in place prior to the kick-off of the month – 30 days go by faster than you think! Have a strategy in place, identify experts and draft materials to be ready to kick off the month on the 1st.
- Use social media. Tweet facts and statistics about the disease or condition you’re hoping to raise awareness about. Participate in Twitter chats. Ask followers to share their experiences. Post photos of your employees participating in related events on Facebook. The possibilities are endless! For many awareness months, a notable organization like the American Heart Association or Centers for Disease Control may designate a hashtag to be used throughout the month. Using this hashtag will ensure that your tweets are seen by other influencers in the field, can help you identify users to engage with, and can help you find content to share.
- Pitch experts, op-eds and bylined articles. Health awareness months can provide reporters with the timely hook they’re looking for in a story. Look inside your organization or your client’s organization to identify who would be the best spokesperson to comment on the particular topic. Find out what they’ve been working on and the latest developments and research in their field. You can use this knowledge to brainstorm and pitch story ideas or draft op-eds to pitch to newspapers.