Get Attention and Increase Sales by Piggybacking on Holidays, Observances and Relevant News Stories

Flora M Brown, Ph.D.
6 min readNov 12, 2019
Created by Flora Morris Brown, PhD on PhotoFunia
Image by Kevin Sanderson @ Pixabay
Image by Kevin Sanderson @ Pixabay

You’re not one of those people who grumbles when retail stores roll out their displays many weeks before a holiday or observance, are you?

I hope not!

You can’t afford to think like the average consumer. If you are an author, a coach, a speaker, or a service provider, you are a business person. The success of your business depends on marketing. Take a lesson from the retailers and create buzz and piggyback on holidays, observances and relevant news stories for your business early and often.

Tie into holidays, observances, and relevant news stories to get attention and increase your sales. @florabrown

This is smart for two good reasons.

1. The popular holidays and observances already have high visibility because of pervasive ads and their many followers, devotees, and social media fans. In addition, you can get loads of ideas from the groups and websites that already promote them. It’s no surprise that just before Super Sunday businesses offer a “Big Game Special” or a gift basket retailer names a design “Extreme Tailgate Super Sunday Party.”

Tip: If you decide to create a tie-in to that big game on Super Sunday, however, don’t use the actual words “Super Bowl” in your promotion. Not only do you want to keep the focus on your brand, but you want to avoid getting sacked by the NFL.

2. The media is always looking for stories, especially those that tie into the news. This is where you can use newsjacking, the art, and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story so you and your ideas get noticed. This is a term coined by David Meerman Scott who gives examples of newsjacking and how to do effective real-time selling in the video interview below.

David Meerman Scott shares three things he does to stay on top of trends, gives valuable tips on the best ways to use newsjacking and explains why timely responses are critical. @florabrown

How Jet Blue Air Tied into a Freeway Shutdown

In July 2011 when Los Angelenos learned that a 10-mile stretch of the busy 405 freeway would be shut down for 53 hours, they dubbed the expected traffic delay Carmageddon. Some businesses announced they’d be closed. Others got creative. Jet Blue Air, for example, launched an “Over-the-405” promotion offering special nonstop flights between nearby cities Long Beach and Burbank priced at just $4 each way, taxes and fees included.

Use holidays and special observances to promote your business

Just as big events and news tie-ins can help you get media attention, pairing your business with month, week and special day observances can help uncover hidden profits or position your business as an expert in your niche.

When you find a way to share your knowledge, expertise, and skills to help your readers, subscribers, social media contacts and customers, you enrich your value and uncover potential profits you may have missed otherwise.

Here are a few ideas to get you rolling.

When you tie in your promotions to holidays and observances, remember to add hashtags to make them easier to find on social media. Tweet this

Discover the many holidays, observances and celebrations

There are many sources listing these observances, some even quirky or a day in history. Here are a few sources to get you started.

http://www.celebratetoday.com/callinks.html
http://nationaldaycalendar.com/
http://www.holidayinsights.com/
http://www.brownielocks.com

Create your own day

Until the early ’80s in the USA only the President and Congress had the right to declare a day a holiday. But it was decided that Congress was spending too much time in approving and denying holidays, so the practice was abandoned. Now anyone can declare and publicize a holiday, recognition or awareness day. You are free to publicize and celebrate it.

How about creating your own celebration day. There is even an official day set aside for you to do just that. Chase’s Calendar of Events has listed March 26th as Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

Chase’s Calendar of Events is the authoritative guide to special occurrences, holidays, anniversaries, celebrity birthdates, religious observances, sporting events, and more from around the world. It was created in 1957 by two brothers, William D. Chase and Harrison V. Chase, to provide a comprehensive reference to calendar dates and observances. If you want your celebration listed in their directory, submit the required information. Get the details here

If you can’t get your day listed in Chase’s Calendar, you can register it at http://nationaldaycalendar.com/register-a-national-days

You don’t need permission or approval before creating your own holiday or observance. There’s even a day for that. You don’t have to wait for it, but March 26th is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day.

Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad proclaims March 18, 2015, as “I Grew Up Country Day”

Whenever authors Carol Bodensteiner and Shirley Showalter spoke about their memoirs about growing up on farms, audience members were eager to share their own stories. After mulling over a way for folks to share their stories about the country way of life, Carol and Shirley were successful in getting Terry E. Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, to proclaim March 18, 2015, as “I Grew Up Country Day” to be celebrated in Iowa and everywhere food is grown. Learn more about how this day and their Facebook group evolved.

Promote your day

Creating your day is just the start, however. You must get others involved, promote your day, and create buzz. You can garner publicity by creatively and assertively tying the day to your book, business or service like these companies did:

Go ahead and get busy piggybacking on holidays, observances, newly created events or your own day. Here are tips to help you succeed:

  1. Investigate the history and current activities already planned for existing observances in case you can support them rather than reinvent the wheel.
  2. Remember to promote your event or campaign to your email lists and your social media fans early and often.
  3. If you are newsjacking, act fast and be sure you are offering comments and content of value, not just blatantly promoting your business.

Did you think of some new ways to get attention and increase sales for your business?

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Flora M Brown, Ph.D.

Author, course creator, and life story coach guiding memory keepers to write about the activities, choices, and beliefs that shaped their lives.