Pill Empowerment

Bookmark and Share

Anniversary stories often are not that exciting. In fact, I’ve had reporters emphatically tell me, “I don’t write about anniversaries.”

However, some anniversaries are significant because of the impact they have had on our culture and lifestyle . In 2010, bubble wrap turned 50. Earth Day marked 40. The Blue Ridge Parkway celebrates 75.  Spanx cheers its 10th. (While I don’t believe thee modern girdle is advancement for women, Spanx are a technical achievement in under garment fabrics.) And the birth control pill commemorates its gold jubilee.

Barrels of ink have been spilled on the FDA’s approval of the birth control pill 50 years ago on Mother’s Day. In fact, some argue the invention of the pill is the most significant scientific advancement and social empowerment of the 20th century.

Journalists did not shy away from any of these anniversary stories. So why such animosity to other celebrations of history — say an institution turning 100? The 5th annual celebration of a community partnership. Or the 25th anniversary of a product introduction.

Most frequently, the pitch lacks context. What is happening around the event that you wish to publicize?  What impact has your institution, partnership or product had outside of the company you are representing? Have habits or attitudes changed? Why is the anniversary significant? What is unique about it? Or are there similar happenings that could be packaged to show a cultural impact?

The celebration of the birth control pill’s 50th, illustrates the elements of a good anniversary pitch.

1) Context: How does the company or product anniversary fit into the larger history? Was it ground breaking? First? Did it change habits or alter attitudes? What preceded your company or product and how did its introduction alter the landscape?

2) Milestones: What hurdles were overcome since the inception of the company or product? How can you quantify?

3) Impact: What other “firsts” were made possible or at least influenced by the company or product?

4) Future: What’s next? How will the product or company continue to affect the industry or consumer behavior?

5) Community engagement: How will you involve stakeholders in the celebration? What social media channels will you employ? Be sure to include hash tags (#50success) in your promotions and encourage tweeting from events.

Finally, if your company or product isn’t celebrating an anniversary, use cultural anniversaries like Earth Day or the pill to your advantage. A good example is “50 years of the pill. Bayer’s celebration celebration of women’s empowerment.”

The key to success is to think beyond the company or product’s history and to celebrate the impact on attitudes and behavior. Add a forward-looking angle, and you’ll increase the likelihood of media coverage.


Leave a Reply