I’m thinking we need a jolly old elf dedicated to rewarding communications professionals. If we had one, these goodies for today’s PR rock stars would be on his sleigh:
1. Unlimited coffee
Keep your eggnog. This time of year, PR pros need the hard stuff: caffeine. Communicators need a lot of energy to survive the year-end chaos. Yes, coffee will always be popular in our industry. Throw in a personal barista, and your PR buddy will love you forever.
2. Planner 2.0
What gift would make this truly the most wonderful time of the year for a pressured PR pro? It’s not a daily planner, but rather a personal assistant to shop for gifts and the perfect holiday party outfit. As much as PR pros think they can do it all, with so many deadlines leading up to the holiday, here’s a reality check: “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
3. Bye-bye, breaking news
Well, not a true adiós. Most PR pros are news junkies, but they need a rest. Without missing opportunities for client and company placements, consider this stocking stuffer: coverage during the 2016 election cycle.
PR pros will grant you a lifetime immunity from the “naughty” list if you can give the gift of time. The year isn’t over yet, but is it too much ask for a breather before the 2016 PR goals and resolutions kick in? Experienced public relations professionals understand that once the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, the race to reach those lofty goals begins.
5. Content-hungry journalists
Forget preparing a holiday feast. What PR pros really want is a journalist hungry for their content. Newsrooms are short on staffing—especially during the holiday season. Translation: Decision makers can be more receptive to content from brand marketers. A journalist eager to cover a company’s story is a dream gift for PR pros. Just be sure the story you pitch is packaged with a nice bow before you deliver it.
6. A mathematician’s brain
PR pros who can prove the value of publicity is more important than ever. Most, however, are typically right-brained and struggle to calculate such tasks as adding up holiday shopping receipts. If the Elf on the Shelf could morph into Albert Einstein and deliver a crash math course, there would happy PR pros counting their blessings (accurately) this season.
7. Music, not Muzak
If you’re annoyed by hearing “The 12 Days of Christmas” for the 20th time, have some sympathy for PR pros who spend way too much time subjected to on-hold music. Your gift of a real tune could save them from a lifetime of the dreaded songs, sans the words.
8. An actual holiday
This is the unicorn of gifts for PR people. Most don’t fully take time off during a holiday, because there will invariably be news to monitor, emails to send and maybe even a client crisis to handle. We can, however, dream.
Readers, which gifts would you like to receive?
Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, a public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism. MediaSource has been named Best Health Care Agency in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards. Connect on Twitter: @LisaArledge.
This article was created in partnership with MediaSource.
This story first appeared on Ragan.com in December, 2015.