Hands up who knew when the alarm went off this morning that it was St George’s Day?
I’m sure I’m not about to see too many hands…
Which begs the question – why do we not celebrate St George’s Day with the vigour of St Patrick’s Day, the patriotism of St David’s Day or the pride of St Andrew’s Day?
Is it because we’re English?
It’s not in the nature of ‘The English’ to self-promote or make a fuss. Is it our inherently sombre nature that makes us pass over the day as if it were any other day?
My sole point of interest this morning was to highlight the new Google Doodle to a colleague.
There’s no red and white themed office attire, no national drink (apart from copious amounts of tea in the office) and no chorus of Jerusalem either.
The PR challenge
Let’s face it, the flag of St George has a marked PR history for good and bad reasons.
It flies proud at football and rugby tournaments but is also used as a symbol for some unsavoury groups and protests. It’s also synonymous with The Crusades, a part of British history that is often oddly overlooked.
The flag itself isn’t even something we can call our own – it’s also the national flag of Georgia.
The social profile
If we were to follow the patron Saints of the majority of the UK on social media their bios would read as follows:
St Andrew: Fisherman, besties with Jesus, disciple for life
St David: Teacher, preacher and miracle man
St Patrick: Christian missionary, Irish bishop and former slave
St George: Warrior, hater of dragons and lover of chain mail
If we look at these, you can see why St George as a ‘saint’ seems a little far-fetched compared to the other religious and selfless men.
Writing the creative brief
The audience: The merry people of England
- Raise awareness of St George’s Day
- Change the perceptions of St George himself
- Gain blue-tick and ‘celebrity’ status on social media
- Create a true national event
- Claim the colour red in the same manner that St Patrick has claimed green
Timescale: A few generations
Budget: Who’s paying?
Happy St George’s Day one and all. Here’s to next year when the marketing campaign is in full swing!