Martin Luther King Day Content Strategy
Ace your Martin Luther King Day email content with these ready-to-implement strategies. Enjoy!
Honor the day with a thoughtful tribute.
It goes by several names – MLK Day, Martin Luther King Day, or just King Day – but the third Monday of January is a federal holiday whose official name is Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. It commemorates the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King, the civil rights leader who was assassinated in April 1968.
But other marketers take a more thoughtful approach, using photos or illustrations of King or replacing promotions with a tribute reflecting on his contributions. Your audience and its expectations will guide you in the copy and creative choices you make if you do an MLK Day promotion.
Strategy #1: Don’t treat MLK Day like Presidents Day
A quick search of emails with some variation on “Martin Luther King Jr. Day” in the MailCharts database turns up many messages using the holiday to promote their products and brands the same way they use Presidents Day (the federal holiday in February that recognizes the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln).
In other words, they slap an MLK Day banner and a red-white-and-blue color scheme on their regular promotions. But that approach ignores an essential difference between the two holidays.
Both honor deceased American public figures, but time and legend have made Lincoln and Washington remote figures. King is still flesh and blood for many Americans, and any efforts that make light of his life or death could fall flat or, worse, annoy or anger your customers. Also, know that people are watching what you send, and they’ll probably call out any perceived errors in judgment.
Strategy #2: Highlight your company charities, volunteer activities or values
Aligning your brand with the values associated with the King holiday can be tricky, but proceeding with respect and caution will help you avoid any inadvertent missteps.
Coming soon after the Christmas holidays, it can help you reconnect with your customers and give them a reason to support your brand by seeing the work your company as a whole and workers do for your communities.
Many of the emails we liked for MLK Day used the occasion to send a message related to the holiday with an image of King, a quote or something similar.
The King holiday is the only federal holiday with a Congress-designated Day of Service, which adds a layer of solemnity missing from Presidents Day. Keep that in mind if you decide to incorporate the holiday in your campaign messaging.