If ever there was a social cause in need of a public relations campaign, it is Thanksgiving.
Sandwiched between the glitzy build-up for comparatively trivial Halloween and immediately followed by two months of the grossly commercialized Christmas season, Thanksgiving gets a short-shrift.
The day is unquestionably the most universally appealing of national holidays. It is a day for families and friends to join together and give thanks. It is nonsectarian, apolitical and non-controversial. And it is untainted by commercialism.
In professional public relations terminology, Thanksgiving needs new brand identification. Halloween has “trick-or-treat” and Christmas has decorations and gift exchanges. Thanksgiving has Black Friday?
Here are three simple individual strategies proposed to enrich the purpose of Thanksgiving and maybe generate a groundswell of momentum:
- Make Thanksgiving a day to “pay it forward,” to do an unsolicited good deed as an individual or family or group of friends.
- Commit to volunteer time or offer support to a special worthy cause for the year.
- Send a hand-written note of thanks to someone helpful in your life.
A Thanksgiving campaign enjoys a special advantage. Helping others tends to rank high on surveys listing reasons for personal satisfaction. This implies these strategies will produce the ultimate public relations return on investment: mutually beneficial outcomes.
Maybe there will even be a spontaneous launch of an annual “challenge,” a clever, sustainable and relevant activity to celebrate the day of thanks and giving.