The 2009 Public Relations Calendar

As we’ve done each year for the past several years, we’re publishing a “print and save” public relations calendar for the upcoming year. In this edition of PR Fuel, you’ll find calendar listings for holidays and observances, major political events and sporting events, as well as a list of anniversaries being marked in 2009. The purpose of the calendar is to ensure that public relations professionals are aware of important events that may drive the news cycle. The calendar is also a handy planning tool, allowing PR professionals ample time to get pitches and campaigns ready.

The 2009 news cycle in the United States will be less predetermined than it was in 2008. Elections this year will be local in nature, and only a handful will capture any attention beyond local media. There are no major international sporting events this year, though the build-up to the 2010 World Cup will begin. Undoubtedly, the first several months of President Barack Obama’s administration and the economy will dominate headlines in the coming year.

2009 is a major anniversary year for two states entering the union, as well as the introduction of two well-known products. There will also be some sad remembrances regarding tragedies and celebrations of the lives of two important historical figures.

Planning your public relations pitches and campaigns around scheduled events is a wise move, but there is no way of knowing what unscheduled news will transpire. The election was an obvious headline-grabber in 2008, but few people could have predicted the devastation on Wall Street and the subsequent trickle down to Main Street.

As always, the best advice that I can give you is to plan around the established news cycle while staying prepared to deal with the curveballs that the world throws us.

Holidays and Observances

  • New Year’s Day (January 1st)*
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 19st)*
  • Chinese New Year (January 26th)
  • Groundhog Day (February 2nd)
  • Valentine’s Day (February 14th)
  • President’s Day (February 16th)*
  • Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras (February 24th)
  • Ash Wednesday (February 25th)
  • St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th)
  • Palm Sunday (April 5th)
  • Passover (April 9th)
  • Good Friday (April 10th)
  • Easter (April 12th)
  • Earth Day (April 22nd)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5th)
  • Mother’s Day (May 10th)
  • Memorial Day (May 25th)*
  • Flag Day (June 14th)
  • Father’s Day (June 21st)
  • Independence Day (July 4th)*
  • Ramadan (August 21st to September 19th)
  • Labor Day (September 7th)*
  • Rosh Hashana (September 18th)
  • Yom Kippur (September 28th)
  • Columbus Day (October 12th)*
  • Halloween (October 31st)
  • Veterans Day (November 11th)*
  • Thanksgiving (November 26th)*
  • Hannukah (December 11th to December 19th)
  • Christmas Eve (December 24th)
  • Christmas (December 25th)*
  • Kwanzaa (December 26th)
  • New Year’s Eve (December 31st)

*Federal Holiday

Political Events

  • 111th Congress begins (January 3rd)
  • Inauguration Day (January 20th, Washington, D.C.)
  • General Election (November 3rd, various state and municipality races, no federal election)

Sporting Events

  • Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa Bay, Florida (February 1st)
  • Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Florida (February 15th)
  • Men’s NCAA Basketball Final Four in Detroit, Michigan (April 4th to April 6th)
  • First game at new Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York (April 19th)

Trade Show Calendar

200th Anniversary

  • Birth of Abraham Lincoln (February 12th)
  • Birth of Charles Darwin (February 12th)

100th Anniversary

  • Robert Peary’s team reaches the North Pole (April 6th)

50th Anniversary

  • Cuban Revolution
  • Alaska statehood (January 3rd)
  • Deaths of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper (February 3rd)
  • Launch of Vanguard II, the world’s first weather satellite, by the United States (February 17th)
  • Release of the Barbie doll (March 9th)
  • Hawaii statehood (August 21st)

25th Anniversary

  • Apple releases the Macintosh computer (January 24th)
  • Founding of Dell (November 4th)
  • Bhopal disaster (December 3rd)
  • Bernhard Goetz “subway vigilante” incident (December 22nd)

10th Anniversary

  • NATO begins action against Yugoslavia (March 24th)
  • Columbine High School incident (April 20th)
  • Napster debuts (June 1st)

This article, written by Ben Silverman, originally appeared in PR Fuel (, a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit:

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