Seasonal PR – a method to take advantage of current events
The celebration of Halloween began in Sweden in the late 1990s and is now celebrated on October 31st every year. Like most holidays, Halloween is the perfect time to reach out with specific messages. According to a survey from the Swedish Trade Federation and Nielsen (2018), Halloween is the 10th most important sales period of the year. Every other Swede plans to celebrate Halloween, and the same statistic for young people shows that 8 out of 10 celebrate the holiday. Furthermore, Sweden will spend over a billion SEK on Halloween celebrations in total.
But what about when people dress up to scare others? In 2016, people dressed as clowns with unclear purpose were reported. The clowns were reported to have tried to lure children into the woods, stayed in schools and some cases even acted violently and attacked others. In the southern police district of Sweden, the police reported 150 calls regarding attacks by clowns during one weekend. One theory was that the whole thing was a marketing ploy for an upcoming movie, but this has never been confirmed.
It is important to keep track of, analyze and act on such events. A good example is the company Teknikmagasinet, which chose to remove their range of clown masks during the clown hysteria to show that they took the fear seriously. This shows how a business can improve its reputation and show social responsibility and social awareness.
In conclusion, be responsive and listen to your customers. Through good cooperation, you can improve and strengthen your reputation while taking advantage of the PR opportunities that a holiday worth over a billion SEK provides.