‘Tis the season to be jolly and merry and giving, etc., and PR firms are going all out to spread holiday love (read: remind customers and journalists about their organization). So, as the holiday cards and gifts pour in, it’s a good time to step back and reflect on which investments are worth the money and effort this season, and those that just collect dust on recipients’ desks.
Consider this list of commonly sent/received gifts:
Holiday cards: While senders’ hearts are in the right place, the form holiday card doesn’t do much in the way of reinforcing your brand – especially when the message inside just says “Happy Holidays from _____” in bold-faced type. It doesn’t suggest any time or effort, and the stock photos of mistletoe and snowy pastures aren’t really worth saving.
So what’s a good alternative? I recently received a card from the folks at The Neibart Group that displayed a cute comic strip on the front. Titled “Frosty the Spokesman,” it was a playful spin on PR catch phrases (sustainability, white space, etc.) and winter themes. Clearly, the execs at the firm put time and effort into personalizing the message, and it was well received (so much so, in fact, that it inspired the idea for this blog post).
Another way to set your holiday card apart from the pack is to bring your staff into the production. I still remember the card I received from Peppercom last year where the staffs’ faces were superimposed on a fun illustration. That card had an unusually long shelf life on my cubicle wall – it was only recently taken down after a very belated spring-cleaning.
Wreathes/flowers: Sending some sort of vegetation is always a lovely gesture and, at the very least, it represents a bigger financial investment on the part of the sender. The only downside is returning to the office after the holiday break and finding the plant’s wilted remains all over your desk. Apparently poinsettias and wreathes need water, too.
Wine: Good call. Very good call.
Anything edible: Again, you can’t go wrong when you send anything that can be consumed. Cookies, fruit baskets, chocolate—any way you cut it, that gift will be appreciated