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April 17, 2015
National Awareness Weeks

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.

The first page of a Google search coughed up Sleep Awareness Week; World Salt Awareness Week; Sexual Awareness Week; Migraine Awareness Week and Geography Awareness Week (to name but some…).

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…)?

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