Let’s all aim to stop sending boxes of chocolates, Starbucks gift cards and tins of popcorn, ok?
Beyond penning a lovely thank you or appreciation card, the goal of gift-giving should be leave a lasting impression that is highly personal. In fact, while I could easily get in the habit of sending gifts to my September issue-sized contact list, I prefer cultivating a much smaller gifting list, keeping in mind the exact message and goal of each present. It is totally ok to be picky about your list and send meaningful gifts to fewer recipients then sending gifts with no meaning, just because you feel like you have to.
Typically in public relations, we’re gifting editors, vendors, partners, influencers and our team. Below are a few thought-starters to help to cultivate a reputation as the kind of gift-giver your network happily tears into any time a package makes its way to their doorstep.
What makes a great editor gift?
It’s not too hard to track down the specific interests of the editors you work with, especially if you have access to their Instagram account.
Do a little sleuthing and find out their favorite wine, vacation spot, or beauty brand. I’ve done initial mugs from Anthropologie in the past, but this year we’re thinking of sending personalized jewelry travel cases. Everyone loves something personalized, and Rachel Meis Communications is a jewelry PR firm, so it makes sense.
What makes a great client or partner gift?
In the age of abbreviated words and xo signatures, we’ve forgotten how nice it is to receive snail mail. A hand-written note goes a long way and for the holidays, take it a step further and write an old-fashioned letter expressing your appreciation and gratitude. Sincerity will outweigh any physical gift. You’d be surprised how much your kind works will be appreciated. If you still want to send a little something, let them know you made a donation in their name for a charity you know they care about, pay for an office cleaning, or simply send a delicious smelling candle in their favorite scent.
What makes a great employee gift?
Working in public relations is a lot of long hours and efforts making the client look great. When it comes to your employees, thank them for their dedication with a little R&R and team bonding. Take your team out for a spa day, or rent a house on the water for a night- complete with personalized massages and a delicious fresh breakfast. Reminisce over the year, do a little planning and goal-setting, or just relax in front of a few fashion flicks. For those who are always hosting events instead of enjoying them, treat your team to an evening where they get to “be the media,” and do a little shopping of the showroom closet or take home a grab bag of leftover swag bag spoils. Of course, surprising your team with the afternoon off can also do the trick!
If you still want to send a little something, let them know you made a donation in their name for a charity you know they care about, pay for an office cleaning, or simply send a delicious smelling candle in their favorite scent.
My go to gift is a gift card to Dry Bar, with tip included. I also took a lesson from my grandmother and started gifting lotto cards. It only costs you a dollar, but the recipient could win more. Add a post it note with something like “wishing you the best of luck in the New Year” and you’ll be surprised how many “thank you” calls and texts you get back!
Keep your gifts from the heart and you’ll see the positive impact it has on your relationships and your business.