Christmas message: get personal, not personalised
Don’t let anyone convince you PR is all parties and presents. Popping into the office on the Tuesday before Christmas, a single solitary envelope awaited me in the mail room. It was a Christmas card from someone I had worked with briefly during the year, handwritten with a simple (but relevant) goodwill message inside. It was the kind of communication which companies up and down the country have opted to forego in recent years. If such cards were still the rule, I might have scarcely noticed it, but as it was, I thought “God, it was thoughtful of him to do that”. Just the sort of reaction you would want from a 65c investment in a stamp, a €1.50 investment in a card, and a 2 minute investment in putting pen to paper. A good return.
Then I switched on my computer to be greeted by 11 festive e-cards, neatly lined up in Outlook, most of them addressing me in some way. I can’t remember who any of them were from.
Ultimately one communication was personal, the other just personalised – and there’s a world of difference between them. I get it that charities benefit from companies deciding to donate rather than send cards, but I really don’t see why one needs to exclude the other. We’ve all grown up with the magic of Christmas cards and brands are missing a trick by not tapping into the emotional goodwill they bring out in us.
Until everyone starts doing it, of course. Then it will be time to take another look at e-cards. Personal ones, though.