For many, the Fourth of July is a holiday to relax and unwind, but for public relations folks, it is an opportunity to accomplish something. For some organizations it is a prime date to get out a message to your audience. The Fourth of July requires weeks of preparation for many companies, especially their public relations departments.

There are two main types of Fourth of July PR: public service announcements and sponsorships. A company may aim to get out a message that encourages purchase of its product or build its reputation as a company that cares about its customers. Additionally, it may reach its audience with a sponsorship that brings an experience to the people.

When it comes to reputation many companies may try to improve their images or feature an agenda on the Fourth of July. Fireworks accidents, travel safety, boating safety, pet safety, sun safety, following the law and food safety are common topics for related companies to address on this holiday. For fireworks accidents, the conversation is often started by fireworks distributors and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Something like sun safety is facilitated by the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunscreen brands and hospitals.

Companies will also use the Fourth of July to promote their brands. In most of these cases the company sponsors a related event or donates money based on the customer’s involvement. Some examples of event sponsors are Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest, Macy’s New York City fireworks display, Coca-Cola’s Atlanta fireworks celebration, TOMS’ “Red, White and Bold Bash,” and Disney’s week of festival in both parks. Other companies like Kraft and Epicurious prompt their audience to use their recipes to make the summer holiday special. If companies aren’t presenting events or content, then they may be asking for customer participation. Pepsi and Budweiser encourage their customers to buy a specially marked bottle to help the company donate money to charity.

The Fourth of July is an opportune holiday for a gamut of organizations and causes to facilitate their messages or promotions. Chances are your local festival or fireworks display has a sponsor or sponsors, so check them out. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

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