Community Relations-Concept to Reality

Every month on my Facebook account I include a listing of interesting national or international days for the month as well as some notable birthdays.

These dates, set by someone else (ex. National Banana Split Day – August 25), offer you an easy way to anchor a community relations event or coordinate a fun event for your staff. There are many more items of interest each month, more than I can fit in my posts or keep track of. I just hope that it sparks an idea for you.

How would I capitalize on August? Here are two ideas, one internal and one external, that I’ll let you borrow or 
make better. 
Internal: Julia Child was born on August 15. Julia Child was an American chef who studied French cooking and wrote many cookbooks as well as demonstrated her cooking methods on television long before Emeril Lagasse (Bam!). It’s “Bon Appetit” day for staff! This can be implemented in two ways depending on your budget and resources. You could host lunch for your employees at a French restaurant, or have your staff do the work in the form of a potluck encouraging them to use a Julia Child recipe or at least something French (limit the number of fries, of course). Offer up issues of her cookbooks, or the book Julie & Julia for prizes. Be creative and light about the criteria–fewest ingredients, doesn’t taste French, etc.
External: Celebrating another birthday, Orville Wright’s birthday is August 19. You remember learning about him and his brother Wilbur as they were able to get an airplane to take flight. What a great time to make your ideas take flight! Host a paper airplane contest. You could implement this many ways and link it back to your mission–that’s important! Here are a couple of angles:
• This could be a contest promoting communication by requiring the airplane be made from a full sheet of a newspaper;
• You could celebrate aviation and engineering by inviting engineering students to compete;
• Celebrating a milestone (anniversary, advancement, new location, expansion, etc.) shows how far you’ve gone–now let’s see how far a paper airplane can go. In this instance, I would invite top executives and elected officials to participate and make a bigger impact;
• Control the materials and parameters that might relate to why you are holding this contest.
Flying paper airplanes supplies a great visual that would be attractive to photographers for print and to broadcast media. Make sure that you alert the media, or hire me and I’ll plan the whole event for you.

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