March is a transitional month; winter comes to a close and spring officially kicks off…à la “in like a lion, out like a lamb”. The buzz of the holidays has finally died down and life returns to a normal pace, which makes it a great month to get involved in an awareness event. Many of these events are not necessarily widely celebrated but are growing in popularity — and a great way to increase your brand reach and potentially find new customers. Keep reading for information on all the awareness events available this March.
Holidays and Awareness Events in March
Below we explore holidays and awareness events in March, each with a helpful description for you to consider if they might be a good match for your brand. Be sure to check out the sponsors of these events, as appropriate, for help with ideas and promotional toolkits to make sure your event is on track with the original messaging, and to help reach new audiences.
• St. Patrick’s Day — St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and spiritual holiday celebrated by those with Irish ties around the globe. It originally began as a celebration of Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland. It is held annually on March 17, the date of his death. From a religious perspective, it is celebrated by many religious sects, including the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland, and the Lutheran Church. However, there is certainly a lot of celebrating that is non-religious, especially across the United States. Parades, festivals, dancing, and bar crawls — all while wearing green and shamrocks — are typical aspects of “St. Paddy’s Day” in the U.S. St. This is a fun event for your brand, especially if you have a connection to Ireland, or are in the food, bar, or entertainment industry. March is also Irish American Heritage Month.
• Employee Appreciation Day — Employees are vital to your organization. Some would even argue employees are the most important part of any good business. Employee Appreciation Day is an opportunity to thank employees for their dedication throughout the year and hopefully create an even stronger bond between employee and employer. It occurs annually on the first Friday in March. In 2020, it will fall on March 6. This is a celebration every business can and should get behind. Promotional gifts are a popular way to say thank you with something tangible while reinforcing company spirit and morale.
• Purim — Purim is a Jewish holiday that recounts the story of Esther and her cousin Mortdecai. It is found in the Bible in the Book of Esther, and is also told in the last of the 24 books of the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible). It occurs on the 14th day of Adar on the Hebrew calendar, which falls roughly around March in the Gregorian calendar. The actual date of Purim changes each year. In 2020, it will begin on March 9 at sunset, and conclude on March 10 at nightfall. As this is a religious celebration, it may only be appropriate for a business with Jewish ties to publicly celebrate it.
• International Women’s Day — Women’s rights movements seek to strike institutionalized equality in societies around the globe, which means actually putting these rights into law. The first iteration of this day, which is celebrated every March 8, dates back to 1909 in New York as a means to honor and remember working women. It stuck, and has been celebrated annually ever since, spreading to more countries each year. The United Nations began celebrating it officially in 1975. Being an advocate for women’s rights is something every business can hopefully stand behind; this is a great opportunity for any industry to celebrate the women in it, and advocate for greater equality where gaps still exist today, such as the gender pay gap. International Women’s Day falls within Women’s History Month, which occurs every March. An American celebration, it honors women of the past, celebrates those currently contributing to society, and aims to inspire women of the future who will continue to pass the torch.
• Spring Equinox — The equinox is when the Sun crosses the plane of the earth’s equator. It occurs twice annually; once in September and once in March. The actual date can vary slightly from year to year due to leap years, which can make it occur on March 19, 20, or 21. This event is general enough it could be celebrated by nearly any business, although a spring-centric brand, such as a floral or landscaping business, or a clothing brand debuting a spring collection are especially great fits.
• National Umbrella Month — The umbrella was created some 4,000 years ago, which is pretty amazing considering how regularly and widely it’s still used today. While this isn’t quite like most of the monthly awareness events, it may still be a great opportunity to get behind. Promotional umbrellas are always well received, as are most goods that serve a function and/or purpose in people’s lives. This could be a nice awareness event for a company with ties to a region known for rain, such as Seattle, a rainforest, and England.
• National Craft Month — Crafting, making decorative objects by hand, includes a great many different types, like knitting, decoupage, needlework, and more. Many people enjoy these hobbies, and science even says they’re good for you. National Craft Month is an chance to discover a new craft, celebrate one you actively do, or revisit an old one. This is a great opportunity for an arts and craft related business, or one with ties to handmade goods, home goods, or promotes creativity.
• National Dentist’s Day — We all know we’re supposed to go to the dentist twice a year for a good cleaning and check-up, but what most people don’t realize is how much oral health is tied to overall health and wellbeing. National Dentist’s Day is an way to celebrate the important role dentists play in keeping us healthy, and thank them for their work. It’s also a good reminder to schedule your next check-up! It is observed annually on March 6th. This is a great celebratory day to get behind if you’re in the medical field, and especially one related to oral health.
• National Pi Day — Pi, a mathematical constant, is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, though its definition has stretched over time. The number begins with 3.14…and voila, we have the birth of Pi Day on March 14 (3/14). A cheeky celebration adored by scientists and mathematicians, it plays on its own name by often including pies in the celebration. This could be a fun celebration if you are in the education, science, research, or even baking industry.
• National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day — Mom and Pop businesses have a soft spot for most of us; knowing you’re supporting a family business compared to a large corporation is something many consumers prize. There is a growing trend to remind and encourage people to “shop small” and “shop local” as a means to ensure mom and pop businesses can continue to thrive in today’s economy. National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day is held annually on March 29, and seeks to celebrate the gumption of small, local businesses in your community.
Medical Awareness Days in March
March has several 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, research, or pharmaceutical company. Here is 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. If you do opt to join any of these campaigns, we suggest reaching out to the organizers, or incorporating some of their communications pieces (many have available toolkits) into your work to ensure you are representing the cause accurately.
• Red Cross Month — The Red Cross is a humanitarian, charitable organization that provides emergency assistance and disaster relief around the globe. It is dependent on volunteers to carry out its mission, such as providing donor blood or hurricane relief assistance. Every eight minutes the Red Cross brings some form of assistance to those in need — all due to their extensive volunteer network. Every March the Red Cross celebrates and honors the many volunteers who help make their mission possible, spreading the word of what they do, and hopefully engaging new volunteers either through donating funds, blood, or their time.
• World Birth Defects Day — Every year about eight million babies are born with serious birth defects, such as heart defects and spina bifida. In many countries around the globe, these birth defects are a leading cause of death for babies and toddlers. Ensuring these babies receive proper medical treatment is key to giving them the best shot of living to their full potential — something the U.S. based charitable organization March of Dimes aims to do. Every March 3rd the March of Dimes, along with 150 other similar organizations around the globe, come together to raise awareness about the dangers of birth defects and campaign for education, prevention, and treatment. March of Dime’s March for Babies is a companion event based in the U.S. It was formerly called WalkAmerica, and supports the efforts of March of Dimes. It began in 1970; since its inception it has raised more than $2 billion. March of Dimes uses the money it raises to fund research that aims to prevent premature births, birth defects, and infant mortality. Please note: the March for Babies is not usually held in March.
• Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month — Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease affecting about one million Americans and about 2.3 million individuals worldwide. During the course of the disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath, a protective coating that surrounds nerve fibers. This can result in chronic pain, fatigue, vision loss, and impaired coordination, such as being unable to walk without assistance, among other issues. Every March the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, along with its affiliate organizations, brings awareness to this incurable disease and also helps those living with MS to make educated decisions about their health care.
• National Kidney Month — The kidneys are a vital organ, responsible for filtering the blood by removing waste and extra water from it (producing urine). Kidney disease develops when the kidneys are unable to perform this important function. This can result in the need for dialysis. Chronic kidney disease affects one in every seven adults in the U.S., making it a common disease. National Kidney Month is an opportunity to bring awareness to the disease, which is really important, as kidney disease is not often caught until it reaches late stages, as symptoms are often not noticed in its earlier stages. Blood tests can help detect it early, which is a great reason to spread awareness every March.
• National Nutrition Month — While most people know the importance of eating healthy, nutritious meals and snacks, it is often not adhered to, especially as our lives have become so busy and processed food so abundant (and frankly, is just so easy and inexpensive). National Nutrition Month aims to remind and educate everyone about healthy eating and staying physically active to maintain good health. Each year has a new theme; in 2020 the theme is Eat Right, Bite by Bite. The campaign seeks to remind people each bite can be a step in the right direction; that healthy eating doesn’t have to be overwhelming, especially if you approach it “bite by bite”.
• National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month — A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a brain injury resulting from an outside force, such as a sports injury or car accident. It can have a range of symptoms, from amnesia to mood disorders to difficulty speaking and more. For this reason, TBIs are often life-altering. National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month, which was founded by the Brain Injury Association of America, seeks to raise awareness about TBIs. From 2018 through 2020, the theme is Change Your Mind and aims to destigmatize brain injury, empower survivors of TBIs and their caregivers, and educate individuals on available support for individuals living with TBIs.
• National Sleep Awareness Week — Are you getting your eight hours of sleep a night? Apparently, one out of three adults isn’t getting enough sleep. This may not seem like a big deal, but a lack of sleep is related to many of health issues, like weight gain, slower immune response, and increased risk of heart disease. In short, getting those eight hours (note: the actual adult recommendation is between seven and nine hours per night) does more than just make you feel rested! The National Sleep Foundation created the National Sleep Awareness Week to remind people of the importance of getting enough sleep each night, and all the positive benefits that come with it. In 2020 it will be held from March 1st – 8th.
• Brain Awareness Week —This global campaign seeks to generate public enthusiasm and support for brain science. It is coordinated by the Dana Foundation, and includes partners from around the world who come together to celebrate this brain-tastic event. Partners include universities, hospitals, research centers, government agencies, corporations, advocacy groups, and more. It is held annually in mid-March. In 2020, Brain Awareness Week is held from March 16th – 22nd.
• Poison Prevention Awareness Week — The goal of Poison Prevention Awareness Week is to raise awareness, reduce accidental poisonings, and promote poison prevention. Established in 1961, it is sponsored by the National Poison Prevention Week Council. The event includes an art contest open to children to raise awareness about the cause. It is held annually during the third week of March. In 2020 it will take place from March 16th – 22nd. Piggybacking on Poison Prevention Week, Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month is held annually in March as a way to educate and/or remind people about the dangers of pet poisoning. There are many items, such as chocolate and vitamins, that are poisonous to pets, so this serves as an important awareness event to educate everyone and help keep pets safe.
While most may consider March a quiet month as far as holidays go, we hope this piece has shown you there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate this month. From St. Patrick’s Day to a lengthy list of medical awareness days, there is something for everyone to get involved in. Once you settle on a celebration or cause, don’t forget to consider the important role customized promotional products can play in creating a lasting impression and spreading your brand reach. Ready to get started? Reach out to ePromos today. We’ll make sure you get set up with a promotional product that represents your brand and your awareness event. Our talented designers will even create or tweak your artwork for your promotional products.
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