How to Start a National Day for Your Association

Categories: User Experience

ada-natl-dayToday is theAmerican Diabetes Association Alert Day which is held annually on the fourth Tuesday of every March.  They mark the day as a one-day “wake-up call” to inform the United States public about the gravity of diabetes.  By offering free online tools, the ADA encourages everyone to take the diabetes risk test and learn about your family’s history of the disease.  The Alert Day is a one day event, but it kicks off a month long fundraiser and awareness campaign.

The ADA has done a wonderful job at using their website as an awareness resource.  They have built an area to empower it’s supporters with promotional materials, at-risk test PDFs and web banners, posters.

By developing a national day annually to rally around, the ADA has helped keep awareness of their mission and provided the public with resources to help them spread the word.

Questions to get started

All you need to start your day is to answer a few questions about your association and the industry you serve.

Is there competition?

The first item you will want to do is find out – is there already a National “Association Name” Day?  If there is already a national day to compete against, no problem – there are 364 other days in the year!  You can find a very comprehensive list of existing days on the National Day Calendar.  For the ADA, they aren’t competing with any other organization in their industry, but there are other industries using this date like the National Medal of Honor Day and the National Lobster Newburg Day.

What to name your National Day?

Naming your national day can be tricky, but it should be something that is relevant.  Taking a fun approach to your naming convention could be the way to go like the National Drinking Straw Day, but obviously your target industry might dictate your name.

What date to use for your National Day?

Determining which date you use can also change your game plan.  The following factors might help you consider when to host your national day:

  • When do you host your biggest events?
  • Which month is the slowest month for events?
  • Which month is the lowest month for your website traffic?

By using analytics from your association website, you can find out if there are dips in your industry and you can use that time to spark interest.  Traditionally, if your industry is seasonal, you will have some ‘down time’ to manage your national day. Or you use the largest event of your year, you can lead up to or kick off your national day around that event.

How to build your National Day landing page and resources

Use the following check list as a very simple guideline for building the necessary information to manage your national day:

  • Landing page with message outlining national day purpose and mission
  • Fact sheet with data
  • Sharable online resources (web sticker, infographic, tweets, posts)

How to promote your National Day

Once you have developed your national day and a place for your users to connect with you about your day, you’ll need to promote it.  This list is will help you get started with getting the word out:

  • Email blast to your membership
  • Contact local TV, radio and newspaper organizations
  • Post to your social media accounts
  • Register on online forums promoting National Days*
    *Note that some websites require payment

Get it started and keep it up!

Remember that the first step in any journey is the hardest.  Once you’ve made that first step, the key to is to make the commitment and keep it going year after year.  You can start small and build on the moment each year.  If you are mindful when building your content and resources each year, you can recycle most of the information, and just update dates and data.  Your industry and association will value greatly from the additional exposure and it will help you promote your message to the masses.

If you have more tips and ideas on how to start your own national day, or if you already maintain a national day for your association, please provide us feedback in the comments below.

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