This Friday (28 Feb) is Work Your Proper Hours Day a campaign which aims to raise awareness of all the hours of unpaid overtime worked by employees. Indeed, there are a number of special days on the horizon, including St David’s Day, Pancake Day and Mother’s Day
It got me thinking about the number of special days which there are throughout the year and the opportunities which they present for public sector bodies to raise awareness of their work and services.
For example, World Book Night on 23 April is a great opportunity for local authorities to promote the work of their libraries and other cultural services. A few years back I worked with the library service to mark World Book Day by asking primary school children to visit their local library dressed as their favourite character from a book. Not surprisingly there were more than a few Harry Potter lookalikes, but it did succeed in getting children into the library.
Religious festivals and National Days can also be used to promote community cohesion by spotlighting particular cultures. However, this needs to be handled with sensitivity to avoid giving unnecessary offence. We all remember the press stories about Councils accused of cancelling Christmas for fear of offending non Christians.
With a bit of careful thought, it’s possible to generate communications activity for your organisation around most of these events. The one exception might be 19 September which, as I am sure you are all aware, Talk Like a Pirate Day.