September may be the official end of summer, but it’s also the glorious start to all thing’s autumn – cool weather, back to school, and, for many of you, pumpkin spice everything. Redemption! Starting with Labor Day, the weather starts to cool and people start thinking of cold weather activities that offer plenty of opportunities for your business to support and have a little fun – while raising brand awareness, of course. In this piece we’ll discuss some of our favorite September awareness events, including medical awareness days, and tips for how to get your brand involved and remembered through the use of promotional items (our specialty).
National Events in September
From getting patriotic to celebrating books and tourism, September is chock full of awareness events that could be perfect for your brand. Below, we’ve listed a ton of them for your consideration, with a brief description of their significance, the dates they fall on, and suggestions on how to get your brand involved.
• Labor Day (September 2) – The only federal holiday in September, Labor Day is in honor of American workers, and their contributions to creating a productive, stable, and prosperous society. It always occurs on the first Monday of September. If you’re looking to get your business in on the celebration, consider hosting a community barbecue, complete with food, drinks, music and promotional giveaways – such as water bottles, grilling-themed items, and beach balls.
• 9/11 Remembrance (Patriot Day) – The scars left from the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 continue to haunt our nation, and the movement to Never Forget remains strong, no doubt in part because so many of us were alive to witness the horror and tragedy of that day. While it is not an official holiday, it is a day of remembrance; many people derive comfort on this day by gathering together to remember the lives lost and to reflect on America. As a brand looking to support 9/11, consider hosting a Patriot Day event – a community memorial gathering. If you prefer to reach people online, you could run a social media campaign with a designated hashtag asking individuals to reflect about any number of things – their memories from that day, what their favorite part of being American is, or their special place in America, etc. Consider gifting participants a patriotic themed promotional item, such as flag sunglasses, pens, hats, or tote bags.
• Rosh Hashanah – Rosh Hashanah marks the Jewish New Year, and literally means “head [of] the year.” A two-day holiday that begins at sunset on Day 1 and ends at nightfall of Day 2, it always occurs in September (except in 1815, 1929, and 1967…and again in 2043, when it falls in October), though the exact dates float. In recent years it has fallen (or will fall) on these dates:
o 2018— September 9-11
o 2019— September 29-Oct 1
o 2020— September 18-20
o 2021— September 6-8
The differing dates are due to the way the Hebrew Calendar falls in line with the Gregorian calendar (what most of the world follows today). Since this is a religious holiday, it is extremely important that if your business is not inherently affiliated with Judaism and opts to support it, you understand the religious and cultural aspects of the celebration in order to do so appropriately – we’re sure the last thing you would want to do is accidently offend or misinterpret something with deep religious value to those celebrating.
• Yom Kippur — Yom Kippur is another Jewish holiday; and this one is regarded the holiest of all Jewish holidays. The name translates to “Day of Atonement” and as the name suggests, is focused on repentance and atonement. Similar to Rosh Hashanah, it often occurs during the month of September, but can also fall over dates in October – the actual dates of the holiday change each year.
o 2018 — September 18-19
o 2019 — October 8-9
o 2020 — September 27-28
o 2021 — September 15-16
Yom Kippur includes a 25-hour fast accompanied by praying. Many spend the day in synagogue services. Overall, it is considered a solemn day – at least until sunset. Then, many partake in a feast to mark the end of the fast. As with Rosh Hashanah, unless a business is part of the Jewish culture, it should be very thoughtful about engaging in this highly religious holiday.
• Hispanic Heritage Month – Straddling September and October, Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15 and runs through October 15. It celebrates the many histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens who come from Hispanic countries, including Spain, Mexico, Central and South American, and the Caribbean. September 15 is a significant day for several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, as it’s the day they celebrate their country’s independence. Get your company involved in the celebration by running an online social media campaign that highlights Hispanics who have made significant contributions in your industry, or even within your company. Explore hosting or joining a community event to celebrate in person, complete with promotional items, such as tote bags or drinkware.
• Constitution Day – While it is not a federal holiday as Memorial Day and Labor Day are (it’s actually a federal observance day), Constitution Day is a big deal. It occurs on September 17, which is the actual day the Constitution of the United States of America was signed (in 1787!) by our Founding Fathers in Philadelphia. The Constitution signified each person born in America, or through naturalization, is a citizen of the United States. As we said, a pretty big, historical deal, and one to be celebrated. Consider joining an existing event, such as a parade or fireworks display as a vendor or co-sponsor in your local community. If you prefer a web presence, explore hosting a Twitter chat or other online trivia based on the founding of America – complete with patriotic-themed promotional goods as giveaways for winners.
• International Literacy Day – This international day is marked around the world; we hesitate to say celebrated, as part of its goal is to bring awareness to illiteracy around the globe, although, certainly, it does seek to celebrate growing literacy rates, too. It occurs annually on September 8, with each year (or two) having its own theme:
o 2007-2008: Literacy and Health
o 2011-2012: Literacy and Peace
o 2018: Literacy and Skills Development
o 2019: Literacy and Multilingualism
Contemplate hosting a community reading event, complete with story time for kids and books for sale (or given away) or co-hosting with a local community or university library. Use your web presence to shed light on this important day by hosting a reading contest or highlighting writers around the globe.
• National Campus Safety Awareness Month – Unfortunately, campus safety has become a public health concern around the country. Occurring during the entire month of September, National Campus Safety Awareness month aims to promote best practices and tips to promote campus safety. It is an important step in opening up a public conversation about how to prevent campus violence and bringing attention to a topic most of us would like to forget for how horrifying it is to think about. If your business is college-themed, caters to college students, or simply is in a college town, consider seeing how you may be able to support the campus’ efforts to draw awareness to this month-long event.
• Banned Books Week – Banned Books Week is a yearly event that celebrates the freedom to read. It began in 1982 out of frustration towards mounting restrictions on what books could be read in school. It is usually celebrated the last week of September. In 2019, it will be held from September 22-28, with the theme “Censorship leaves us in the dark. Keep the light on!” The weeklong event is supported by a vast array of bookish types – librarians, publishers, journalists, teachers, and of course, readers! The American Library Association compiles a list of the most challenged books of that corresponding year. To support this event, consider teaming up with a local public or school library to encourage everyone to feel free to read the books they want.
• Child Passenger Safety Week – A premise of Child Passenger Safety Week is that many of the injuries and deaths of children that occur while driving can be prevented with the proper use of car seats, booster seats, and/or safety belts. This weeklong event, from September 15-21, is held to encourage and educate the safest way to keep young passengers safe – something we can all get behind! If your business is kid or family related, this can be a great opportunity to show your support for the event. Consider hosting a car seat safety check event, something that parents often worry over (and flock to when available).
• Baby Safety Month – Baby Safety Month is held annually in September to promote and educate consumers about safety issues, as well as the choosing of safe baby products. This information is useful not just for parents, but extended family, daycare teachers, nannies, manufactures and retailers of baby products, and basically anyone who comes in contact with babies! It is sponsored by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. Consider getting involved with this awareness day, in particular if your brand is baby, kid, and/or family related.
• National Preparedness Month – No one wants to think about disasters but being educated ahead of one can be the difference between life and death. National Preparedness Month aims to promote family and community disaster and emergency planning. Each year has a different theme. In 2019, the theme is “Prepared, not scared. Be ready for disasters.” The month-long event also has a separate sub-theme for each week of the month:
o Week 1, September 1-7: Save Early for Disaster Costs
o Week 2, September 8-14: Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters
o Week 3, September 15-21: Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters
o Week 4, September 22-30: Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness
If your brand is involved in security or families, this may be a great, natural fit for your involvement. Consider running a campaign that demonstrates how your products or services can help in a disaster, or simply tips for keeping families safe.
• National Food Safety Education Month — According to the CDC, 1 in 6 Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die (!) from eating contaminated foods. This September ‘s month-long awareness event is aimed to educate individuals about food safety as a means to preventing food poisoning. If your business is in the food and/or beverage industry, this could be a great fit for your involvement. Explore hosting or joining an online social media campaign to share food safety tips, or a local community event, such as a cooking class to make learning food safety fun (and tasty).
• World Tourism Day – World Tourism Day, established in 1980, is held annually on September 27. Tourism is a major contributor to economic growth and stability around the globe, which this day seeks to promote. Each year has a different theme:
o 2017: Sustainable Tourism
o 2018: Tourism and the Digital Transformation
o 2019: Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all (hosted by India)
If you are in the tourism or travel industry, this is a great awareness event to support. Consider gifting travel-related promotional items to encourage everyone to get out there and see the world!
Medical Awareness in September
September has many 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 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.
• World Heart Day – Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer. This awareness day seeks to reduce the number of those affected by it.
• World Alzheimer’s Month – A tragic disease effecting the brain and memory, this international event aims to raise awareness and “challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia.”
• Blood Cancer Awareness Month – Blood cancers (leukemia and lymphoma) are diagnosed in 14,000 individuals in the U.S. monthly. A staggering number.
• Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – In the U.S., nearly 16,000 children (those under the age of 21) are diagnosed with a cancer each year. This event aims to spread education and raise funds for research and those families affected by these horrific cancers.
• Cholesterol Education Month – The CDC estimates that more than 102 million Americans have high cholesterol, putting them at higher risk for heart disease.
• Craniofacial Acceptance Month – Craniofacial refers to the cranium and face. The Children’s Craniofacial Association hosts this event to raise awareness of the challenges of craniofacial differences, as well as to encourage individuals to see that “beyond the face is a heart.”
• Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month – It is estimated about 115 people in the U.S. die each day from opioid overdoses. This important, potentially life-saving awareness event aims to educate individuals on the available drug-free alternatives to pain management.
• Pain Awareness Month – Chronic pain can be debilitating and life-altering. Sponsored by the American Chronic Pain Association, this event seeks to raise public awareness of issues related to pain and pain management.
• Healthcare Environmental Services Week – Healthcare environmental services are extremely important; these are the individuals who clean and sanitize furniture, patient rooms, and intensive care units for example.
• Youth Suicide Prevention Week – This week-long event aims to raise awareness about suicide prevention, as well as warning signs of suicide. It is intended for health professionals and the general public.
• Neonatal Nurses Day – Neonatal nurses work with the tiniest, most fragile humans – newborn infants with a potential range of issues such as prematurity and birth defects.
• Surgical Technologist Week – Surgical technologists are part of the surgical team and often work in hospitals. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and assist doctors during surgeries.
September is another great month for your brand to get involved in any number of awareness events. Advocating for one of these causes adds a voice of compassion and humanity to your company. If you have a clear connection to any of these events, consider supporting it annually – a great way to become an ally and dig deeper into the subject. Otherwise, think about supporting a new cause each month. Whichever route feels right for your brand, promotional products can help spread the word!