Does your professional services firm have a milestone anniversary coming up? It doesn’t matter if your company is turning one, five or 25 — whatever the age, celebrating an anniversary can be a powerful marketing tool. Promoting such a milestone can help your firm boost employee morale and raise awareness about the company’s overall brand and services, as well as strengthen relationships with existing clients and prospects.

Anniversaries are significant because people generally prefer to work with a company that’s not only successful, but also stable and dependable — one that has stood the test of time and will continue to be there for its clients. Your firm’s anniversary provides the perfect reason to showcase this success, knowledge, experience and longevity, and create meaningful marketing opportunities and events to highlight the past, present and future. Use your anniversary to attract positive attention and play up your company’s strengths, inspiring even greater confidence and credibility in its services.

Putting all the anniversary logistics in place requires a great deal of planning. We all know the saying, “the devil is in the details,” and it’s true — there are myriad details to think about before hitting the ground running. Here are some things to consider as you start in on the planning process:

Establish a budget. The possibilities are endless when it comes to marketing your anniversary, and expenses can add up quickly. Determine how much the firm is willing to spend on anniversary festivities and marketing tactics before you get into the overall planning. You don’t want to find out halfway through your planning that you’ve blown your budget and can’t do any further activities or promotion.

It’s never too early to start planning. Start the planning process as early as possible so that the timing for all anniversary-related marketing tactics and events can be aligned strategically throughout the anniversary year. Think about your firm’s goals and what you want to achieve. How do these anniversary goals tie in to overall business goals? Make sure your goals and plans support your allotted budget before moving forward with the details.

Involve your employees. Create a successful teamwork environment to spur your employees’ feelings of company pride and loyalty. These positive attitudes have a way of working outwardly – clients and prospects will recognize this employee camaraderie and loyalty, and this goes a long way in enhancing your overall corporate image. If it’s too difficult for the entire staff to participate, keep it simple by creating an internal anniversary committee that consists of volunteers representing different disciplines within the firm. The committee can help to make suggestions and decisions on behalf of the firm’s entire employee roster.

Showcase major milestones. What are some of the firm’s biggest achievements? Consider any major acquisitions, expansions, or even special innovations or breakthroughs within the industry. A good mix of showcasing the firm’s place within the local community, past successes, and educational information about the industry through the years is a terrific way to engage clients’ interest.

Create a call-to-action. To engage your employees and the public (clients and prospects included), create a specific call-to-action so they can be involved in your anniversary celebration. For example, maybe your firm would like to launch an annual charitable foundation in honor of its anniversary. Why not open this up to the public, and have them vote for a specific charity that the firm should donate to each year? This will increase the level of engagement and promote the satisfaction that comes with giving back to the community.

Revamp your creative assets. Consider revamping the firm’s website, email signatures, marketing collateral materials (brochures, qualifications packages, etc.) and any advertisements, with a special anniversary logo. If you’re planning to send out commemorative gifts to your clients and prospects, business partners and referral sources, make sure they are branded with your firm name and anniversary logo. In fact, all of the firm’s outgoing materials should bear your anniversary creative assets.

Build relationships through social media. Include the details of your anniversary events and special calls-to-action on the company website and social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Engage your fans and followers by asking them to participate in your firm’s events or initiatives, if applicable, and also to “like” your page or add a comment. Thank them for their loyal support and dedication to your firm over the years. If there is a specific call-to-action, this will drive more people to your social media sites, further engaging them, and creating greater recognition of what your firm is doing to celebrate.

Make it media-worthy. Issue press releases for particular activities, and invite media to attend community events to get as much coverage as possible. Reporters are always looking for interesting and compelling newsworthy stories. For example, let’s say your firm’s employees are participating in a special day of service to give back to the community, or maybe the firm is donating $20,000 to support a local charity in honor of its 20th anniversary – these are both worthy of media recognition.

Look to the future. While it’s great to recognize those historical milestones it’s also important to reinforce the firm’s vision and plans for the future. This is where you can unveil any new and exciting corporate divisions and client services, or the company’s expansion into a new market, or even launching a new website. What’s coming up that you want your clients and prospects to know? Highlight any big news about the future of the company.

Planning your company anniversary well in advance will ensure that you get the most out of this special occasion. Seek out meaningful marketing opportunities that showcase your company’s past, present and future. If you need help planning and organizing internal and external events to maximize your anniversary’s marketing potential, there’s no shame in hiring a marketing services provider to assist you with the planning, strategy and implementation. Your firm’s anniversary is an important time, and you’ll want to use it to your advantage in every way possible!

If you have any corporate anniversary marketing success stories to share, we’d love to hear about them. Please leave us a note in the comment box below.