4 lessons from PR pros’ holiday cards

It’s the time of the year to give thanks to those that supported your organization, but sending greetings can be another opportunity to boost your brand.

For communicators, the holiday card can be just as important as a press release or social media push.

While you’re thanking clients and partners for continued support, a holiday note is also another way to keep your organization at the front of recipients’ minds. If you’re creative enough, it might also garner you additional positive PR.

Here are a few lessons to glean from several holiday cards sent from PR agencies and pros this season:

1. Embrace trends and pop culture.

CooperKatz & Company published a video—complete with the hashtag #CKSpreadTheJoy—where its team reacted to their favorite videos and trends of 2017:

PR pros covered the viral BBC interview where the professor was interrupted by his twohilarious children, another viral video showcasing an attempt to catch a bat in a kitchen, and the fidget spinner craze.

Hollywood Agency also embraced pop culture with its card that referenced fake news and superheroes:


Eye-popping visuals and reaction videos can add humor and also showcase your knowledge of current trends, gaining client trust.

Selecting one theme for a card and highlighting your staff makes sense, but if you go the video route next year, consider covering several viral clips instead of only two: Then you can truly call it a year in review.

2. Use storytelling to fuel emotions.

In its clients’ honor, Clearlink donated to the Big Brothers and Sisters of Utah and The Children’s Center:

The agency also shared a link to this video, so clients could how their gifts were received:

The video is a little brand-heavy (it might come off to some as a corporate social responsibility effort, instead of a holiday greeting), but does take advantage of storytelling—a powerful tool in communicators’ hands.

Those who want to copy this tactic should focus on individual stories from employees or recipients, rather than organizational leaders. This can remove jargon and “marketing speak,” and cut to the core emotion: your holiday spirit.

3. Give clients something extra.

The Summit Group included a treat with its holiday greeting—a gold-foil bookmark:


“We always try to have some kind of takeaway to the card,” says Brittany Larsen, Summit Group’s director of PR. “Last year it was a pop out ornament, the year before it was a notebook.”

The move offers a useful tidbit for recipients and gives the agency a clever way to remind its clients and partners about its brand.

4. Keep it short and sweet.

Janet Falk of Falk Communications and Research was concise with a holiday haiku and short message. Here’s how her digital holiday card reads:

In the dark of night
A sudden glimpse of bright light
Sparks joy in my heart.

Thanks to your support, 2017 was one of my best years in business.
May you gather strength from your success and climb ever higher in the months ahead.

Why a haiku? Falk wrote:

This 17-syllable poem, with reference to nature and a change of mood, is technically difficult. That challenge aligns with my brand of skilled writing for impact. It’s now a tradition; recipients tell me they anticipate receiving it as a signal of the holiday season, which is the ultimate compliment.

You don’t have to pen the same to use the power of brevity. For holiday greetings and beyond, consider short, snappy messages—or a visual, such as a quick video or compelling infographic.

What seasonal salutations are you sending out this year, Ragan/PR Daily readers?

(Image via)

Topics: PR

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