Selecting a week to highlight a cause or grow awareness of an issue has its benefits. It allows organisations to link advertising with public outreach and public relations. Mostly the result is that – because of the investment in awareness – target audiences are better appraised of the issues at stake. This can help boost fundraising efforts, or drive target audiences to access important information or services.
However, before another week is dedicated to a cause or issue, a quick audit would suggest that we are running out of weeks any given year. Next week (19th – 25th April) is becoming the week of weeks: it will be National Dairy Week; National Antique Week, and Action on Alcohol Week (and there may even be more that have not hit this humble author’s radar).
With such a collision of interests, the chances are that the battle for media coverage and public attention will be tougher, and there’s even scope for confusion.
Over-hogging certain weeks, or inventing weeks without due regard for existing awareness campaigns is short-sighted. Awareness weeks, in particular, can have very important benefits (sometimes life-saving).
Perhaps it’s a case for a nationally shared diary, or there’s a role for a national agency to co-ordinate awareness weeks (days, and months…)?