I’d bet my holiday bonus that if you asked any PR pro what they are wishing for this holiday season, they would answer, “A few more hours in the day.” Other acceptable answers include the perfect media list by vertical, an incredibly accurate coverage tracking service and a product feature on the front page of The New York Times.
As we race toward the holiday break, communicators are frantic to close the year on a high-note. It seems there’s never enough time. Even the most organized, even-keeled PR pro can feel like there’s no end in sight.
Alas, there is an end, unless you’re pitching for CES (good luck). While unfortunately we can’t gift Hermione’s Time-Turner, there are things that can help make the most frazzled PR feel a little more Zen and organized. Here are a few:
A Succulent: What’s more calming than a plant you don’t have to worry about?
Having a desk plant makes your space look cute, and studies claim it can improve productivity by 15 percent. Better, a succulent is inexpensive and doesn’t require much care. So skip the kitschy Chia Pet or expensive bouquet and head to Trader Joes for a cheap, cherished gift that will stand the test of time. Succulents can be purchased for as little as $2.99.
Noise-Cancelling AirPods: Toggle between phone and laptop while blocking the chaos.
If you’re looking for a bigger ticket item, try AirPods. Switching between laptop and phone has never been easier with the Bluetooth-enabled devices. The sound quality is exceptional, so you needn’t worry about taking a call from a client, executive or journalist when you’re dashing between meetings or navigating a busy conference. The new AirPods Pro includes noise-cancelling features, ringing in at $249. The OG pair starts at $159.
Desk Snacks: Pitching works up an appetite.
Do you search for a tasty, “healthy” snack around 3 p.m. to help you power through? Unfortunately, this often turns into a raid on the company snack drawer for the unhealthiest salty treat. If you have something tasty stashed at your desk, you might opt for that instead. A few favorites, that are almost as satisfying as Cheez-Its: 365 Brand Dill Pickle Almonds, RX Bar Chocolate Sea Salt, and of course the portioned Skinny Pop (otherwise I’ll eat the entire bag.)
Something Cozy: Offices are always too cold.
A lot of people have invested in Snuggies or desk blankets to deal with Arctic office air. But who says freezing can’t be chic? For women, go for a wrap that can be worn with style around the office and to cocktails. Arm your PR male with a cool quarter zip. Comfort doesn’t have to come at a cost. Consider how you can combine function and fashion this holiday season.
Gym Membership: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”
In PR, stress happens all the time. It can crop up when the coverage isn’t rolling in, an embargo is accidentally broken, or the spokesperson names a non-public customer. The occasional mistake will happen. The best we can do is keep everything in perspective and respond with strategy and positivity.
Physical activity does wonders helping us come back down to Earth. Consider getting your PR pro a monthly membership to a yoga studio, bootcamp or gym. Not only does it keep them happy and healthy, but it also holds them accountable for leaving work at a reasonable hour.
So in review, the PR pro isn’t looking for the priciest, flashiest gift. The communicator wants something that will make life a little easier, the day more comfortable and offer multi-tasking help when deliverables pile up.
Cori Kendrick is a senior account supervisor at PAN Communications