Anniversaries, birthdays, significant milestones – why do we put so put so much emphasis on them?
First of all, the science: Art Markman, renowned cognitive scientist at the University of Texas explains: “numbers are a mathematical construct yet our perception of numbers is affected by our experience with them.” What we do is make sense of the world through our relationship with numbers, “we mark landmarks in time like birthdays and anniversaries as a way of remembering what we have done in that time period. They make the passing months and years more memorable.”
A time to celebrate
Individually and collectively, we find comfort in the numbers that mark significant numerical milestones and these can become important occasions for celebration. It’s a time to draw breath, pause and take stock.
Your company or organisation’s anniversary is no different. It’s an opportunity to look back at what’s been achieved, to trace your organisational journey in terms of the passage of time and the emotional journey that’s been travelled, and to thank customers, employees, supporters and stakeholders.
Look to the future
Even more importantly that organisational ‘drawing a line in the sand’ is an excellent platform for looking to the future by reinvigorating your sense of purpose, boosting your profile and reaching new audiences.
A simple Internet search will reveal any number of ideas that can make your anniversary celebrations stand-out newsworthy. But it’s worth avoiding the temptation of ‘just getting on with it’ and take the time to begin your anniversary project with that all-important, objective step back:
Think strategy before tactics
Align the anniversary with strategic business goals to ensure that marking that significant milestone really does give your organisation a powerful boost.
A milestone, however significant for your organisation, isn’t automatically newsworthy in itself. Think how, with the anniversary spotlight trained on your organisation, you can create news hooks – run and publish survey findings, plug into a ‘bigger picture,’ a complementary news story or development, and build positive PR around your announcements of say, new initiatives or growth plans.
Take time to understand how past achievements can contribute to informing future work, and how any celebrations will reflect the culture of your organisation.
Take the time to plan the strategic messages – both internal (eg employees, volunteers, stakeholders) and external (eg supporters, advocates, customers, end-users), that you’ll be conveying throughout the anniversary timeframe.
Have a plan
An anniversary rarely creeps up on you without warning so there’s no excuse for not planning every initiative, partnership, media opportunity and event in advance (and down to the last detail), including how everything ties in to your over-arching objectives.
Set a budget
Establish budgetary parameters for your celebrations as part of the planning process and then stick to them! Again, refer back to how the expenditure allocated will yield a measurable return on investment, eg an upturn in supporter engagement or funds raised.
Make it last – part one
Don’t just focus activities onto one day but make the most of your milestone by keeping the story going throughout the celebratory period, eg plan separate events for discrete audience groups and engage in pre- and post-event publicity.
Make it last – part two
Consider creating memorabilia, souvenirs and/or a special anniversary logo, closely allied to existing brand guidelines, to enhance marketing activity throughout the year.
Online books are one of the most cost-effective ways of creating an ongoing and lasting legacy from your anniversary year PR and marketing activity.
We love anniversaries!
At the Online Book Company we create online books for our clients that are always bespoke and designed to integrate with existing brand guidelines, websites and initiatives. They provide a dedicated, versatile space to fulfil any number of anniversary year objectives, from highlighting volunteer or employee stories to raising funds for a particular campaign.
In the true spirit of celebration, our books are a powerful way to build relationships, affinity and engagement. Accessible from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection, they allow the people who matter most to you to interact, share and contribute to something they care about. Our service can extend to supporting your organisation to get the most out of your book with integrated social media and email marketing campaigns.