Should you advertise for Memorial Day? Jessi Healey, a previous military spouse and social media expert sounds off on what is and isn’t appropriate over May’s annual three-day weekend.

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Memorial Day weekend is here. There will be cookouts, pool openings and lots of sales on things like mattresses. However, advertising for the Memorial Day holiday is tone-deaf and reflects poorly on brands. 

Is there a way your real estate business can take advantage of this holiday and the unofficial start to summer? 

Yes, but carefully consider how you approach the holiday. 

Memorial Day is a poignant reminder of the brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. As a military spouse, I had the privilege of supporting my husband during his service in the U.S. Army. Through this experience, I came to understand the significance of this day for the families of our fallen heroes. It’s a day of reflection, remembrance and gratitude, marked by ceremonies and personal tributes nationwide.

Acknowledging respectfully 

How can this solemn holiday be respectfully acknowledged in a business context within the real estate industry?

Don’t think about it like a promo, but rather as a chance to show up for your local community. 

Real estate is more than just transactions and properties; it’s about building communities and creating a sense of belonging. That’s why the industry has an opportunity to honor the day in a way that strengthens community bonds and demonstrates corporate social responsibility.

For starters, don’t wish anyone a “Happy Memorial Day.” Instead, express gratitude. 

Does this mean no cookouts or pool parties? Of course not. Memorial Day weekend is the first long holiday weekend with warm weather of the year for almost all of the United States. It’s OK to take advantage of that.

In fact, I think enjoying life to the fullest is one of the best ways to honor the sacrifices of our fallen heroes. I often think of the adage to live a life worthy of their sacrifice, and knowing many soldiers, I think most of them would want those they sacrificed for to enjoy the warm weather, cookouts and pool parties.

Good PR is personal

Show up for this weekend in whatever way feels authentic to you. If your local town has a parade, participate in it and connect with your community while remembering local fallen heroes. 

All audiences respond best to what is real and true, so don’t get caught up in promos or gimmicks. Be honest about your feelings and what you express and if you’re unsure what to say, find someone who said it better and share their words (with credit, of course) often; less is more anyway. 

If you have a veteran in your life to honor on Memorial Day and you feel moved to, share their memory with others. 

Important note: This is not a holiday to thank all veterans, and most living veterans feel very uncomfortable when they are thanked for their service on Memorial Day. Veterans Day, on Nov. 11, is the holiday to thank all veterans for their service. 

Here are a few ways to respectfully observe Memorial Day:

  1. Fly the American flag at half-staff: If you have a regulation American flag and flag pole, displaying the flag at half-staff from sunrise until noon is a traditional way to honor the fallen. Make sure to check the guidelines for proper flag etiquette.
  2. Organize or participate in a charitable event: Consider organizing or participating in an event to raise funds for a charity that supports Gold Star families or donate to one. This can be a great way to give back to those who have served our country.
  3. Post a tribute on social media: Share a tribute on your social media accounts, acknowledging the sacrifices made by our military. This can be a simple message of gratitude or a more elaborate post with photos and videos.
  4. Attend a Memorial Day parade or ceremony: Look for local events in your area and attend a Memorial Day parade or ceremony. This is a great way to support our military and connect with your community.

Remember, Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by our fallen heroes. By observing this day with respect and gratitude, we can honor their memory and show appreciation for their service while still enjoying the unofficial kick-off to summer. 

Just be sure to save the Happy Summer wishes for later in the week. 

Jessi Healey is a freelance writer and social media manager specializing in real estate. Find her on Instagram or LinkedIn.

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