October 15, 2013
As I tuned in to football Sunday this week, I noticed something different about all of the teams’ uniforms. A pop of an unexpected color – pink. Why? You can probably guess – Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The annual campaign raises awareness and funds for breast cancer research during the month of October. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is one of the most recognizable campaigns, but I’m sure you can think of others. There are awareness months (or awareness days or awareness weeks) for everything from National Poetry Month to National Hot Dog Month to (one of our favorites) Volunteer Appreciation Month. Yesterday, I happily celebrated National Dessert Day.
Why are there so many awareness months? Because they can be effective. Designating a particular month or day to draw attention to your events can boost a communications campaign or help attendance at events during that month. Several of Kellen’s clients have months celebrating their missions. Check out what they do:
Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month – June
Sponsored by the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America® (MGFA)
Myasthenia gravis is chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder. MGFA serves patients, their families and caregivers through a network of chapters, support groups and programs. Their June awareness month aims to raise awareness for the disorder. MGFA distributes an awareness poster to neurologists, along with a letter asking them to expand awareness by displaying the poster in their offices. MGFA also holds its annual MG Walk in June.
Several states, including New York, Massachusetts and Nevada, as well as the city of Las Vegas, issued proclamations, recognizing the month of June as Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month.
National Pasta Month – October
Sponsored by the National Pasta Association
The National Pasta Association celebrates one of America’s favorite foods in October, leveraging their “Pasta Fits” culinary education campaign. This October, the group will tackle many initiatives to remind Americans why pasta fits into a busy lifestyle, tight budget, and still manages to fit into a healthy diet! Here are just a few of the 2013 tactics:
- The organization is holding a “Pasta Presto Recipe Contest” for consumers. Participants can submit their best recipes for a chance to win $1,500. The top recipes will be voted on through the Pasta Fits Facebook page at the end of the month.
- Tina Ruggiero, the chef and registered dietitian behind many of the delicious Pasta Fits recipes has worked with the team on a broadcast segment highlighting how pasta can fit into a busy lifestyle, budget, and diet regimen.
- In an effort to share the news of National Pasta Month with industry influencers, the Pasta Fits team has created a demo for Supermarket RD’s who are a part of the Oldway’s Nutirtion Exchange (ONE) program, so they can share a delicious pasta recipe!
- Time Square couldn’t miss National Pasta Month! Early in the month, the Reuter’s billboard was light up with an image of a Rotolo and Spinach with Ricotta recipe and announcement that is National Pasta Month.
National Window Covering Safety Month – October
Sponsored by the Window Covering Safety Council and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Council
The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is dedicated to educating consumers about window cord safety. In October (and throughout the rest of the year), the group urges parents and caregivers to check their window coverings for exposed or dangling cords that can pose a strangulation hazard to infants and young children, and to retrofit or replace them with today’s safer products.
The WCSC held a Twitter chat twice in October, using the hashtag #CordSafety to help raise awareness. It also developed an infographic for parents to learn window safety rules.
Do you have an awareness month for your organization’s cause? How do you use it to create attention? What kinds of campaigns do you run during your month?