January, the first month of the brand spankin’ New Year, is a time when so many of us look to refresh, revive, and often reset our lives. With the glittery madness of the holidays behind us, it’s like a clean start; an opportunity to finally do all those things we said we’d do last year (and the year before that and the year before that…), like (finally) join the gym, pick up a new hobby, or start volunteering, à la New Year’s Resolutions. While resolutions are typically a personal experience, there’s no reason a business can’t set their own. This year, why not consider starting the year by celebrating or raising awareness for one of the many events taking place this January? It’s a great opportunity to make a media splash, engage with potential new customers, and have a little fun while doing some good in the world. In this piece we explore the many awareness events taking place this month. Keep reading to find an event that resonates with your business, then start brainstorming – it’s time to plan an event!
Holidays in January
After the whir of holidays between November and December, January is a much needed quiet month. There are only two big holidays celebrated this month in the U.S. Check them out below:
• New Year’s Day – Believed to be the most celebrated holiday around the world, New Year’s Day is the official start of the new year. And while each culture may celebrate it in their own unique way, it’s often marked with a grand display of fireworks just as the clock strikes midnight. Think of this as a celebration for your brand? Consider hosting a brunch for the millennial crowd, or a kid-friendly New Year’s Day event, such as a lunch complete with sparklers (or noise makers), that the whole family can attend. Another option is to simply team up with another big event that aligns with your business, and be a partner/vendor/sponsor.
• Marin Luther King Jr. Day – A hero who stood for racial equality, and in the end died for it, Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day is an opportunity to remember a great American and reflect on his message of peace and hope during the turbulent but awakening time of the Civil Rights Movement. A federal holiday, it is celebrated every third Monday in January to coincide with/around his birthday, which is January 15. Consider vending at or sponsoring an MLK Day event, or running a fundraiser in his honor, which could easily be online if that’s your preference.
Medical Awareness Days in January
January has a few medical awareness days that may be appropriate for your brand to promote, particularly if you are in the health, wellness, or medical-related field, such as a hospital or pharmaceutical company. Here are a handful of awareness days with a brief description of each to help determine if joining in on any of these days fits your brand and messaging.
• Thyroid Awareness Month – The thyroid is a little known gland located in the neck. It’s small, but plays a key role in our health, as it produces hormones that affect every single cell in our body! It’s estimated that 20 million Americans are affected by a thyroid condition, but nearly 60% of them don’t even realize it – making an awareness-raising campaign all the more important.
• National Glaucoma Awareness Month – Glaucoma is an eye disease, that if left untreated, will lead to blindness. It’s estimated about 3 million Americans have it, but about half of those individuals aren’t aware of it. Glaucoma is sneaky in that it slowly erodes vision over time, and if not caught and treated in time, will cause irreversible blindness. Raising awareness of the importance of regular eye exams in a bid to catch glaucoma early is certainly a noble cause to get involved in this January.
• National Birth Defects Prevention Month – Birth defects can be devastating, and while many are not preventable, some are. National Birth Defects Prevention Month seeks to raise awareness about how important healthy choices are before and during pregnancy as a measure to prevent birth defects.
• National Blood Donor Month – The American Red Cross, which sponsors National Blood Donor Month, supplies about 40 percent of the U.S. blood supply – quite literally, a lifeline for so many people. Blood donations tend to lower during and after the holidays, which can threaten the supply of available blood. This lifesaving campaign seeks to remind folks how important it is to regularly give blood, and encourages them to start the year off with a blood donation (and hopefully continue to donate throughout the year).
• Cervical Cancer Awareness Month – About 13,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but it is considered preventable with vaccination and regular screening, which can help detect early signs. Cervical Cancer Awareness Month aims to educate men and women about the importance of vaccination, and for women, to encourage regular exams.
• Family Fit Lifestyle Month – Creating healthy lifestyles together as a family is a great way to instill the importance of fitness in children, and also help keep all members of the family happy and healthy. There are many things families can do to encourage good habits, from eating nutritious meals and snacks to doing regular exercise, such as walking, biking, or playing sports. Family Fit Lifestyle Month is a great way to jump start the New Year with a healthy mindset.
• National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week – National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week aims to “Shatter the Myths” about drugs and alcohol for teens by using science to breakdown the grave reality of what these substances do to your body, brain, and behaviors.
Additional Awareness Days in January
Not connecting with the above options? Read through this assortment of additional January awareness days to find something that clicks with your brand.
• Thank Your Mentor Day – Having a mentor can have tremendous outcomes for young people, such as increasing their chance of attending college and going on to hold leadership positions later in life. Providing positive guidance is a big (and worthy) job — and it’s always nice to thank the do-gooders. Thank Your Mentor Day seeks to not only thank the individuals who share their time, experience, and love as mentors, but to show the amazing stories that can come out of mentoring as a way to get more people involved.
• National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation – Created by President Barack Obama in 2009, National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation is held annually on January 20th, the day he officially took office as President of the United States. The goal? To observe and celebrate a call to action – to focus on rejuvenating and mending any grievances within our democracy as a way to create unified and gradual “change for good” over time. This piece shares a few ideas for how to celebrate this day with promotional items.
• Get to Know Your Customer Day – Now this is a celebration we can really get behind! Get to Know Your Customer Day, held on the third Thursday each quarter (January, April, July, and October), reminds brands how essential it is to actually know the people they’re serving/selling to. This is even more important these days with the advent of the Internet, which has caused face-to-face interactions to dwindle. But, there are still plenty of opportunities to make real connections with your customers, even virtually, and get to know them. Make it a priority this January!
• Hunt for Happiness Week – Created in 1998 by the Society of Happy People, the Hunt for Happiness Week is an opportunity to seek happiness every day. Prompts are either emailed, found on social media, or as activity ideas on their website (linked above) if you’d like to host a hunt. It occurs annually during the third full week of January.
• International Creativity Month – So many of us fall into routines – alarm, work, dinner, tv, etc. – that our days can start to feel mundane, and seriously lack creativity. Enter International Creativity Month, which occurs during the month of January and pushes you to really think outside the box and get creative! Thinking creatively is a great way to solve problems, or simply add some fun into your day.
• International Quality of Life Month – As we talked about in the beginning of this piece, January is a popular month to take stock of your current life and make resolutions for change. International Quality of Life Month picks up on that theme; it calls for a time of inner reflection about all things related to you – relationships, jobs, how you spend your time, etc. All these things contribute to your quality of life, which is really important to your overall wellbeing.
• National Thank Your Customers Week – Taking the time to thank your customers is imperative to developing a relationship with them; letting them know you appreciate their business will increase the likelihood of them becoming repeat customers – and hopefully spreading the word. National Thank Your Customers Week is a great opportunity to create a campaign that champions your gratitude for your customers.
• National Mentoring Month – National Mentoring Month aims to highlight the positive benefits of youth mentoring, and encourage individuals to join in on the movement. It was established in 2002; Thank Your Mentor Day, mentioned above, is part of this broader month-long initiative.
• National Trivia Day – Observed annually on January 4, National Trivia Day is the perfect opportunity to geek out on all things trivia. This provides the perfect opportunity to run an online social media campaign based on trivia that’s related to your business.
• Financial Wellness Month – Financial health and wellness is so important — there’s nothing quite like money stress! Making sure your finances are in order can have a rippling affect over many other areas in your life. If you’re in the banking business, this could be a great campaign to get behind. It may also be a good fit for any wellness-related business, as, like we said, financial wellness can go a long way towards helping stress levels.
• National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month – Self-defense is something we should all be aware of, as it can make a huge difference in the outcome of a scary situation. National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month aims to promote the importance of learning self-defense, as well as keeping cool and calm during an emergency-type situation. This could be a great campaign to get involved in if you’re in the security business.
• National Book Blitz Month – You don’t have to be a bona fide bookworm to appreciate a good book, or to celebrate National Book Blitz Month this January. Originally created as a way for authors to promote their own books, it’s now evolved into a big ole all-things-books lovefest.
• National Poverty in America Awareness Month – It’s estimated that some 40 million Americans live in poverty, which may include homelessness and food insecurity. National Poverty in America Awareness Month aims to address this terrible situation and encourage individuals to think about how they may be able to help alleviate poverty, whether in their community or on a larger scale.
Hopefully this piece, chocked full of January awareness events, has gotten your brain wheels spinning on all the ways you can get your brand involved with a campaign that speaks to your product and values. These events can be a smart way to get a greater reach with your brand and connect to potential new customers you may not have otherwise. Whether you hold an in-person event or take your event online, remember to include promotional goods to really bring home the message (and your brand). At ePromos, we’re always delighted to brainstorm a promotional game plan and make sure you end up with a great product that resonates with your brand – just reach out!