Participating in National Celebrations and Campaigns

Most retailers know about Small Business Saturday, the campaign launched by American Express in 2010 to encourage customers to shop independent retailers the Saturday after Thanksgiving but there are plenty of other national campaigns worthy of a retailer’s attention. Doing so not only shows your customers that you’re supporting various causes, but it introduces your business to new customers, too.

National Celebrations

There are a number of ways to find national celebrations to consider supporting. Some are obvious, like Earth Day happening on April 22, but there are some not-so-obvious like National Reading Day held annually in late January or Barbecue Month, conveniently held in May as most of the northern part of the country starts to thaw. If you sell fair trade (or are interested in selling fair trade), hopefully you participated in World Fair Trade Day, celebrated annually around the world on the second Saturday in May.  Even though this year’s World Fair Trade Day is past and Fair Trade Month is not until October, there are plenty of other events to celebrate.

National Trust for Historic Preservation campaign encourages anyone to get involved.

National Trust for Historic Preservation campaign encourages anyone to get involved.

National Campaigns

In addition to various annual celebrations are campaigns hosted by national non-profit organizations like the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A recent mailing (see image) included not only an appeal but a poster encouraging supporters to feature a photo with the poster next to a historic building, favorite park or place that tells your community’s story. Then you’re asked to upload the photo to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #ThisPlaceMatters.

Let’s take this campaign as an example because it’s an active campaign and can offer a retailer several ways to get involved. Are you in an historic area? Do you have any historic landmarks near you or within your city that you’re particularly proud of? Why not encourage your customers to get involved by taking a photo with the poster, including the relevant social media handles and hashtags but also asking them to include your social media accounts as the retailer leading the campaign in your community?

You don’t need to wait for a poster to be sent to you. You can download everything you need here and get busy promoting your city and store today.

If your shop is focused on eco-friendly products, find events that correspond to your merchandise besides Earth Day. If you sell children’s products and books are part of your merchandising mix, consider celebrations that promote reading.

For more funky or fun daily and monthly celebrations, this website has a nice overview of various celebrations from Volunteer Recognition Day (April 20) to Public Service Day (June 23).  Another site, the National Day Calendar, has even more days to put on your  sandwich board in front of your store.  There is truly a celebration for anything and everything so why not have fun with what’s out there and tie it to your shop?

Megy Karydes is a Chicago-based freelance writer and marketing consultant. Learn more about her and her work at

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