Yes, you read that right.

A PR campaign started one of the most globally celebrated days!

Find out about the PR campaign that started Mother’s Day from media update's Saads Abrahams.

I'm sure every PR dreams of creating a PR campaign that stands the test of time — that is exactly what Anna Jarvis did.

How it started

Anna Jarvis was an advertising copywriter in the early 1900s in Philadelphia, and her mother was a peace activist. She overheard her mother say the following prayer in 1876 after leading a Sunday School class: 

"I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother's day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life." 

When she passed in 1905, she vowed to make her mother's dream come true.

With her experience and passion, Jarvis launched a PR campaign to get Mother's Day recognised as a national holiday. This campaign consisted of a partnership with local florists and a letter-writing campaign to state governors.

She networked to get support from influencers such as Theodore Roosevelt and Mark Twain.

In 1908, she hosted a Mother's Day event at a local department store, where she addressed the thousands of attendees. 

Finally, in 1914, Mother's Day was officially deemed a national holiday. 

How it ended

As with anything that starts trending, businesses everywhere started commercialising the holiday, and Jarvis hated it. 

She even launched a new PR campaign to boycott and put an end to Mother's Day. But, as we all know, she was not as successful in ending it as she was in starting it. 

This story is a lesson for all PRs: With passion and dedication, your campaigns have the chance to be successful and could one day also stand the test of time!



What other lessons do you think PRs can take from this story? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Want to stay up-to-date with the latest news? Subscribe to our newsletter

Looking for some tips and inspiration? Check out How to create a successful PR campaign.

*Image courtesy of Canva