Happy Anniversary! This might actually be the best way to enact a full-court press on your promotional activities with the goal to increase awareness.
I would encourage you to capitalize on your longevity and create tangible objectives that will set your intended outcomes of your activities.
If your organization is celebrating a year ending with a 5 or 0, then an anniversary theme is appropriate to anchor a year’s worth of promotions, maybe longer. Disney celebrated their 60th Diamond Celebration that lasted 18 months.
Anniversaries give the media a reason to talk about you.
Don’t waste the opportunity by only talking about your promotional activities planned! This is a common mistake. For instance, instead of talking to a reporter about the menu planned at your gala, talk about the years of impact you have made in the community. Point out how your mission is being exercised year after year and leads to your ongoing success. Honor the many people who have led to the organization’s success. This is the same for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. People make things happen so celebrate them.
Low and No-Budget Tactics
It does not have to cost a fortune to celebrate an anniversary. It can be as easy as adding the number to everything you are already doing. For example, if your nonprofit is celebrating a decade of success, your Annual Gala becomes the 10th Anniversary Gala. Top TEN (get it?) lists become a weekly topic on social media or a monthly topic in your e-newsletter. These little alterations don’t cost anything! Send a press release to your local media honoring one person from each year of your existence who was instrumental to your success. If the media is interested enough to write a story (or simply run the release that you submitted) you have expanded your reach to every reader of that publication only for the labor cost of writing and emailing the release.
Relatively low-cost investments include sharing swag like t-shirts, bumper stickers, window decals, hats, commuter mugs, and so on that put your name out in the public.
Finally, don’t forget to develop a good hashtag for social media posts and create reasons for your audience to also post using that branded hashtag.
Big Ticket Items
If you have the funds allocated for an anniversary blitz or have sponsors to help with co-branded efforts, then you might invest in creating some commemorative pieces. A history book, a special section in a newspaper, a piece of jewelry (charm or pin), or a whole new program or product. Disney creates new parades, fireworks shows, and often launches a new area of a theme park, coupled with a TV broadcast special to mark the milestone.
Your advertising budget might also increase to secure your exposure to your target market. Is a Super Bowl ad in your future? If it makes sense and you will experience a decent ROI, then make it work.
Call to Action
Don’t forget to activate your market! What do you want them to do? Buy, donate, join, tell a friend, visit, … what? These should reflect the metrics you developed in your marketing objectives. Do not overlook the importance of the call to action. When people are excited about what you do, they want to be a part of it. This is when the business or nonprofit celebrating the anniversary reaps the intentional benefits and byproducts of the increased promotion.
Plan for It
Too often leaders have their heads down managing the day-to-day and they miss the opportunity to capitalize on their anniversary. It is wise to keep your marketing department or agency aware of these dates and empowered to build around them. Longevity is a great thing to celebrate, now add your objectives so you know if your promotion is successful.
Leslie A.M. Smith founded McCormick L.A. in 1994 offering public relations and marketing consulting to nonprofits and businesses of all shapes and sizes. Sign-up on her website today to receive helpful insights like this one in your inbox. See how easy your promotional efforts can be here.