Welcome to our Fifth Annual Health & Wellness Awareness Calendar. We here at MediaTracks, are pleased to provide this valuable resource — so that you can help your clients plan and execute health-related public relations and marketing opportunities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has galvanized world leaders, corporate leaders, and everyday people on the value of good health and a healthy lifestyle. Good health is something that most of us once took for granted. But not anymore — we've witnessed scenes of makeshift clinics and testing sites appearing almost overnight, and ambulances backed up at hospitals — scenes unimaginable to us when we began 2020.
While our 2021 Health Awareness Calendar doesn't contain every awareness event, our calendar includes a broad spectrum of awareness topics that are sure to touch most families' lives. For a complete list of not only health but other observances, check out these resources:
- Health & Wellness. National Health Observances from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — sanctioned health observances that have been fully vetted.
- Daily Fun Calendar. National Today — a daily calendar of both serious and silly days, including food and fun days.
- Observation Day Calendar. National Day Calendar. Sign up for a daily email of daily observation days. The National Day Calendar also accepts applications for recognizing a new campaign that you develop for a client as a new Observation Day.
How to Effectively Use Our 2021 Health Awareness Calendar
Schedule some planning time and get acquainted with our 2021 Health Awareness Calendar over the next days, weeks, and months. Next, think about your clients. What expertise can they offer that fits into health and wellness events? Does the CEO of the company have a particular niche or non-profit that they support?
Consider the audiences that your clients reach — what demographics do they serve? The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities among certain demographic groups. Your clients might be good partners with healthcare organizations that offer free or reduced-cost screenings to detect high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
While tweets and Instagram may provide a few extra "views" or "likes," create your message with care. Tell a real-life story if possible — and if that's not possible, create a "what if" scenario that could happen to anyone. Everyone can relate to their child getting sick or one of their parents having a heart problem. Your clients probably can tell you about times when they made a difference in someone’s life. You might even craft a testimonial from an actual client or patient.
Tips for Successful Public Relations Outreach
We hope that these simple tips help you select health or wellness campaigns that enhance your client's reputation and standing, and build new business. Here are some tips to help you use our 2021 Health Awareness Calendar in the coming months.
- Choose wisely. With so many awareness days, weeks, and months, it's critical to focus on which one makes sense for each client. For example – if your client is a large healthcare facility, share stories about actual patients who had successful open-heart surgery or effective treatment for rare cancer. Perhaps the CEO of a company you represent has a child diagnosed with childhood cancer — they might want to partner with a non-profit organization and sponsor a series of public service announcements on some of the symptoms of childhood cancer.
- Develop a plan that works for each client's products or services. Think carefully about how to help your clients stand out from the crowd. Ask probing questions — what are your favorite charities — do you have a cause. COVID restrictions may impact some projects like healthcare sponsorships, but we all have to think outside of the box in 2021 to help our clients.
- Scheduling. Plan ahead. It seems obvious, but media placements need to be booked early to be effective. Design and printing deadlines can't be ignored. Neither can approvals of pre-recorded audio and video content earmarked for distribution. It's always better to have materials in hand early to ensure outreach deadlines are met.
- Engage. Help engage your target audiences with meaningful tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram images. Look backward to campaigns that others ran in the past two years to help develop the target message.
- Evaluate afterward. Don't be afraid to be honest with yourself. Ask hard questions about your campaign. Did it engage customers? Were tweets retweeted? Were Facebook posts shared? Were your clients pleased with the results? Ask yourself, "What could we have done better?"
What Not to Do With Our 2021 Health Awareness Calendar
We've all seen how certain health and wellness awareness projects can go awry. Breast cancer awareness is one of the health awareness months where some agencies and clients didn't think through how their programs might affect breast cancer patients. For some, October is now dubbed as "Pinktober" because of insensitive or inappropriate use of the color pink in marketing. We always need to remember the patients and their families as we develop health and wellness programs.
Let's look at some "things gone wrong" in Pinktober so we can avoid this faux pas when we plan a health or wellness campaign.
- Imprinting junk food packaging with a pink ribbon logo
- Painting a line of construction tools pale pink
- Pink tees and other clothing, often promoted that a portion of profits go to breast cancer research — when, in fact, little money is donated or is given to an inappropriate organization
- Dog food packaging in pink? — the costs for printing would be better directed towards low-cost mammography screenings
- Breast cancer survivors even feel obligated to buy tees to "support the cause."
To gain more perspective on what to avoid and what to include in any health awareness promotion, visit ThinkBeforeYouPink.org, a Breast Cancer Action project.
How Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Affect the United States in 2021?
The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be the #1 health story in 2021.
The truth is that no one knows what is going to happen. The pandemic is fluid and has changed over time. We see surges and then fewer cases. And then out of nowhere, another surge. So COVID-19 will remain the top health topic of 2021.
The world is COVID-weary. And we are no different in the U.S. We are COVID-weary. According to Statista, the United States is, unfortunately, the leader in COVID-19:
- The highest number of cases in the world
- The highest number of deaths in the world
Clients must focus on what they can change. Companies who can quickly adapt will, most probably, see their revenues remain stable or even increase. Public relations is critical. The tone and voice that companies portray can be "make or break."
There is pent-up demand along with great financial need. Yet unless there is a meaningful stimulus package in early 2021, we may see demand lagging. We might experience dramatic swings from quarter to quarter. Different regions of the country may peak and valley at different times.
One of our top public relations challenges for 2021 is to remain positive, follow CDC guidelines and help remind everyone that we must still focus on our overall health.
Be sure to use the MediaTracks 2021 Health Awareness Calendar throughout the year. Help your clients connect with their audiences with thoughtful, well-crafted campaigns.