07 May 2024

PR Basics: Unlocking the Power of Key Calendar Moments

Bold Thinking Series

Harleen Kaur and Matylda Kesicka

In the ever-evolving world of public relations, we often get caught up in the latest innovations, technologies and tactics. From AI and influencers to everything in between, we are always looking for new routes to success in our communications programmes.  

However, we shouldn’t forget that sometimes it’s the traditional tactics that can get you the greatest earned media results. One such tactic is maximising key calendar moments to craft relevant and timely insights to secure media coverage. 

Understanding the power of national days gives brands a great chance to connect with their audience, but it can be tough with so many cultural moments each year. If not done well, it can come across as gimmicky and ingenuine.  

Success comes from picking moments with real news value that also match your brand’s story and expertise. This makes sure your brand stays true and meaningful, boosting its presence without losing what makes it special.  

Recently, we made the most of this approach for our client, The Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT). 

National Tea Day and Easter became avenues for us to showcase the expertise and relevance of our client. By aligning our media pitches with these moments, we were able to captivate the attention of journalists and leverage their interest to tell a story that resonated with a wide audience. 

National Tea Day 

For National Tea Day, we wanted to highlight the challenges facing Britain’s tea imports during price hikes and stock shortages. We chose to focus on National Tea Day not only because it’s the UK’s favourite national drink and journalists often cover the story, but because we recognised it as a commodity affected by recent serious global events such as the Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea. 

As tea lovers put the kettle on, we found that they faced a nearly 50% surge in tea prices compared to the previous year, and on April 21st we found data showing a 34.53% increase in tea trade prices in just a month. 

We presented these figures to the media, alongside expert commentary from Marco Forgione, Director General of IOE&IT, emphasising the resilience of the tea industry during economic and supply chain disruptions.  

Easter weekend 

Easter is a time when we all like to indulge in criminal amounts of chocolate, so how would Brits react to the skyrocketing prices of their favourite chocolates?  

We created a press release that introduced the phenomenon of ‘Chocflation’— a term to define the significant increase in chocolate prices driven by intricate supply chain disruptions and global factors.  

We shed light on a 245% YoY increase in the cost of chocolate, with beloved treats like Freddos and Cadbury Mini Eggs witnessing price hikes of 150% and 28%, respectively. By contextualising these figures within the broader narrative of fragile global supply chains and geopolitical uncertainties, along with expert commentary from Marco, we provided valuable insights into the challenges faced by consumers and businesses alike. 

Finding Success in Simplicity 

In the fast-paced world of PR, it’s easy to get caught up in complex strategies and tactics, big campaigns and stunts in order to secure media coverage. However, our experience with the Institute of Export and International Trade serves as a powerful reminder that, sometimes, the simplest approaches can yield the most impactful results.  

So, the next time you’re brainstorming PR strategies, don’t overlook the power of an awareness calendar. Whether it’s National Tea Day, Easter, or any other such moments, there’s potential waiting to be unlocked.