Around this time of year, we tend to get a few clients requesting social media posts on their brand channels on January 26th.
Regardless of yours or my personal views on the matter, the bottom line is that the date is a contentious one for many reasons, and for this reason it should be respected – whether you choose to post, or not.
Many big brands around the country made the move some years ago to no longer promote the 26th as “Australia Day” – ANZ, CommBank, David Jones and Optus – just to name a few. In 2017, Triple J also made the decision to move their iconic Hottest 100 from Jan 26th.
A reflective post here from Australia Post some 4 years ago shows the change in sentiment:
In more recent news, just this week Cricket Australia’s Big Bash League have also decided to remove the phrase “Australia Day” from their promotions. A decision that has been met with some criticism from our Prime Minister, but the statement from Cricket Australia on the ABC was clear – “CA is well aware the issue is a sensitive one and is desperate for it not to prove divisive, but for it to encourage open discussion.”
If you’re still unsure about whether your business should post or not, I’d recommend that you stop and think about your brand position on the issue.
This is not a discussion that just happens between the marketing team, it needs to involve all key decision makers in the business as you need to be prepared to handle the potential backlash (hello, crisis management!) if you do choose to post, and that post doesn’t hit the mark.
Like this Tweet from Macy’s (feel free to click through below to read some of the feedback they’re getting):
What have you got planned this Australia Day holiday? You may need to get yourself the perfect #australiaday outfit ready for the celebration!
— Macy’s (@Macys) January 15, 2021
If you do decide to post to your brand’s social media channels on January 26th, ask yourself –
Are we being respectful and authentic, and putting the promotion of our brand/product/service second, or are we just posting something banal for some likes?
If it’s the latter, perhaps it’s best to stay quiet.
I’m fairly confident that most of your followers won’t be going to bed on the 26th wondering why your business didn’t wish them a “Happy Australia Day”.