PR Lessons from St. Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and people everywhere will come together dressed in green to enjoy the shenanigans associated the widely-celebrated holiday.
After all, isn’t everyone Irish on March 17?
With St. Patrick’s Day becoming such a keystone event across the country, it’s proving to be a valuable PR opportunity.
Because a lot of brands use St. Patrick’s Day as inspiration to create witty, sales-generating holiday campaigns.
Don’t believe me?
According to Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the estimated total spending in the United States on St. Patrick’s Day reaches more than $4.7 billion. The average American alone will be spending nearly $50 on green decorations and attire.
Your brand also can take advantage of the PR opportunities the holiday provides. Here are four ways to find PR gold around St. Patrick’s Day.
Leprechauns possess magic
While some may argue that St. Patrick’s Day is a lesser holiday compared to Valentine’s Day’s lovefest or the family-friendliness of Easter, we beg to differ. The holiday provides ample opportunities for your brand to channel creative holiday-themed communication.
Even if we only celebrate them one day of the year, Leprechauns really do possess magic.
Most brands use the holiday to showcase their Irish roots and celebrate their offerings in a festive manner. Still others take it a step further and showcase their Erin go Bragh by tugging on heartstrings to create nostalgia.
Just because St. Patrick’s Day is a lesser-known holiday on the marketing calendar scale, it doesn’t mean March 17 can’t possess huge value for your brand.
Dress the part
Worried because your brand has no Irish heritage or association to the holiday to tap into? Don’t be. Instead, think outside the box.
Still not convinced? Let me let you in on a little-known fact: the man behind the holiday wasn’t even Irish.
St. Patrick was thought to be the descendant of an aristocratic Christian family in Britain who spent seven years as a slave in Ireland. And his shamrock? It’s a nod towards his religious beliefs. Only now does it represent good luck.
Why am I telling you all this? Because your brand doesn’t have to be Irish or associated with Ireland. You only need to find a creative way for your products or services to dress the part and get in line with the St. Patrick’s Day theme.
One of the most wide-spread American tradition on St. Patrick’s Day is to consume green beer, and we all know the other 364 days of the year beer isn’t green. Restaurants who don’t normally serve Irish fare will add one or two items to their menu. Or, they’ll dye one of their most popular dishes green for the day.
Heck, the city of Chicago’s favorite PR stunt is to go so far as to dye the Chicago River green to mark the occasion.
Without going crazy, your brand can easily dress the part of being Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. And it won’t require changing your products or services or compromising your brand’s values.
Don’t forget to have a little fun with things, either. PR shouldn’t always be serious. Even the makers of Irish liquor get cheeky with their messages about consuming their product responsibly during all March 17-related promotional activities.
Dress the part and get your green on. You’ll be surprised who notices.
Create your own luck
St. Patrick’s Day is synonymous with luck. But your brand shouldn’t rely on a four-leaf clover to garner media attention. PR success takes planning. Planning takes time.
You can create your own luck through planning.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that a certain degree of luck can play a factor in your brand’s media success; however, results will rely largely on your PR strategy and willingness to work towards making said strategy a success.
Developing a PR strategy takes time, and attention to detail can make or break your strategy.
You’ll see more success with customized, newsworthy pitches that target the right media outlets and contacts. You won’t see any success sitting and waiting for the media to come and discover you as if you’re a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Conducting research into identifying who your brand’s true customers are will make it easier for you to develop your key messaging. Guessing who your customers are and trying to be everything to everyone will only leave you exhausted and discouraged from all your PR efforts.
Planning is key to achieving most PR goals. Have your holiday PR efforts laid out a few weeks prior to March 17.
Mine your pot of gold
Once you get to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—in this scenario, it’s media coverage for your brand—you need to continuously mine that treasure.
You must PR your PR accomplishments.
After you’ve done the work and planned the perfect pitch for your brand, you need to promote the media mentions you were featured in across every avenue available to you. Why? Because by PR-ing the PR, you can further extend that 15 minutes of media fame.
Not sure how to make that media placement work its very hardest for you? Here are a few examples:
- Promote the article or feature across your social media accounts.
- Write a blog post about the experience of being featured.
- Make sure you send it to the editor you worked with and include a thank you.
- Update your website, marketing, and the like with “as seen in” for each product featured.
- Send out an email blast to customers, wholesalers, and other contacts with the news.
- Make it easy for your networks to share the news by including a sample tweet, post, or email.
Are you shy and worried that PR-ing your PR will come off as a brag? Don’t be! You should never be afraid to showcase your brand’s accomplishments or feel proud of the PR work you are doing while chasing your dreams.
Go ahead and share your media results with your peers, customers, and the world because many of the great brand stories we know of today were proudly told by people like you.
Employ these simple PR strategies, and you can enjoy St. Patrick’s Day and better your brand all at the same time.
How do you plan to find PR gold on St. Patrick’s Day?
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