The ultimate gift guide for communicators

Whether you’re looking for a stocking stuffer for your favorite communicator or need some ideas for yourself, this list has you covered.

With the holidays upon us, there’s a good chance you’re fielding a lot of calls from friends and family members wanting to know what’s on your holiday wish list. You probably have a few communicators you want to shop for, as well.

Though some generous people may actually tell you what they want, there are probably a lot who say, “Hmm, I just don’t know. I’ll have to get back to you.” And then they never do.

If that’s the case, or if you just want to surprise your favorite communicator this holiday season, we’ve put together a handy list of items that and PR Daily readers and contributors have on their wish lists.

We hope something sparks your fancy:

For pros on the go

Wrinkle-free dress shirt: This is for the busy communications professional who hates to iron—or simply has to run from meeting to meeting and doesn’t have time for it. Heather Whaling, president of Geben Communication, says it’s perfect for PR guys who are always on the go.

Phonesuit: “Check out this sleek iPhone case that makes sure your phone battery never dies again,” says Jess Ostroff, managing editor at Convince & Convert and director of calm at Don’t Panic Management.

Bluetooth wireless earbuds: Ostroff recommends these stocking stuffers “for the communicator who loves to pace around during phone calls.”

Touch screen gloves: When it’s freezing outside and you’re lost or need to dash off a quick email, smartphone gloves are a must. Beata Santora, Macmillan editor, recommends this simple and budget-friendly pair (user-tested!), so you can call up Google Maps and navigate home without getting frostbite.

Timbuk2 bags: Nikki Flynn, senior public relations manager at 206inc, is a big fan of these bags. PR pros, she says, are always lugging things around to conferences, meetings, and airports.

“I love Timbuk2 bags because they’re durable, come in tons of great styles, and, best of all, are customizable,” Flynn writes. “I like this modernized backpack for everyday use, because it’s cute and practical, while managing to not make me look like a student.”


Polaroid instant mobile printer: This device, recommended by Tamara Snyder, senior vice president of employee communication at Edelman, connects directly to your mobile phone to easily print photos. “It’s a great way to give event attendees photos on the spot,” Snyder says.

iPhone camera lens: Also recommended by Ostroff, this item slides over the iPhone’s camera lens to provide fisheye, wide-angle, or macro shots.

iPads and e-readers: You would be hard-pressed to find a communicator who would turn down a tablet or e-reader. Timothy Wroten, a reader, suggested this idea.

Headphones: In a world of cubicles and open offices, headphones are a great gift, according to Kelli Watson, internal communications manager at MillerCoors.

“When you’re in the zone writing and don’t have the luxury of a private office, headphones easily become the door you can close to reduce distractions and stay focused,” she writes. “Folks on our team received sets of Urbanears last year, and they’re a popular accessory around here.” ($49)

Smartphone tripod adapter: Speaking coach Lisa Braithwaite has been a fan of the Flip Cam in years past, but they’re no longer being manufactured. Second-best? Her smartphone video camera. All you need is this handy adaptor to attach your smartphone to a tripod and voila, you’re in business. Check out the rest of her gift ideas for speakers.

iKettle: “This smart kettle is the type of gift I’d love for in-the-zone days,” says Kathryn Aragon, editor of the Crazy Egg blog. The kettle syncs with an app on your smartphone so you can start boiling the water for your afternoon tea while you jot down a few more sentences for that blog post.

Office items

Moleskine Evernote notebook: Ostroff recommends this new version of the classic notebook. It allows you to take a picture of what you write and draw in the notebook to create a digital copy of your work.

Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results“: Patti Johnson, CEO of PeopleResults, says she loves to give this book to clients: “It has a new twist on the kind of conversations that trigger the primitive brain versus those that trigger trust, integrity, empathy, etc.”

Happy Light Desk Lamp: Orly Telisman of Orly Telisman Public Relations suggests this lamp.

“Chicago is my kind of town for a lot of things,” she writes, “but its lack of sun makes you want to drown yourself in either Revolution Brew beer or in Lake Michigan. I’m buying my team some happy lights. A happy worker makes the world go round.”

She also recommends a “humidifier and aromatherapy diffuser,” adding, “We PR peeps are on the phone all day,” she says. “That means a little cotton mouth goes a long way—yuck.”

Ready, Set, Novel!“: Flynn favors this book. “PR professionals often find ourselves writing things that are more corporate in tone,” Flynn states. “I love this book because it helps me break from that, allowing me to explore my creative writing (which can be beneficial on a personal and professional level) and cultivate a long-term hobby.” ($16.95)

Stylish whiteboard: “As a content marketer, I have a thing about whiteboards for capturing spur-of-the-moment editorial ideas,” says Chris Pilbeam, managing editor of marketing at Vocus. “However, most whiteboards are large and fairly joyless, so imagine my excitement when I saw this hanging glass one in Ikea.”

Coffee mugs: Annabel Adams, a PR Daily reader, says, “Some sort of snarky mug about grammar is always welcome.”

Andrea Brunais, communications director for the Division of Outreach and International Affairs at Virginia Tech, suggests that you give “the communicator who is torn in different directions by unreasonable clients,” a coffee mug that reads, “Let me drop everything and work on your problem.” ($10.25)

A Dilbert Dogbert version available from several sellers on eBay, she notes, including this one.

The Elements of Style“: This classic by William Strunk and E.B. White, is “the bible for anyone who values clear, concise writing,” says Ann Handley, chief content officer at Marketing Profs. “The 50th anniversary edition (which came out a few years ago) makes a nice gift.”

A multi-time-zone clock: The team at MediaSource coordinates coverage with journalists worldwide, so “it’s crucial to know, at a glance, what time it is in multiple locations,” says Lisa Arledge Powell, president. Multi-time-zone clocks help her team pitch the media when they’re alert and awake.

Fun office supplies: “Handcrafted pens; notepads with great covers and paper,” reader Mary Ann Robb Victor suggests.

For the person who has everything

Food: Juanita Alvarez, a reader, suggests, “Chocolate and a day off with pay!!” Gini Dietrich, CEO at Arment Dietrich, says, “Peanut butter. Chocolate. Cupcakes.” Handley recommends cookie butter “for stress-eating your way through difficult days. Or clients.”

A day at the spa: Maria Garcia, a reader, says, “Massage/spa day!”

Of course, there always a few things we wish we could ask for, but unfortunately don’t exist yet. reader Greg Bloom says he would like a robot, and Snyder wishes for an ROI calculator. This handy desktop device “instantly computes the value (in dollars or the currency of your choosing) of your communication program,” she says.

Flynn suggests a subscription to Netflix: “There’s no better way to decompress than by binge-watching ‘Orange is the New Black’ or ‘House of Cards,'” she says.

Yoga class: The folks at Meltwater PR suggest a gift certificate for a yoga class in their gift-giving roundup. Their reasoning: PR ranked as the fifth-most-stressful job in America this year.

Newspaper subscription: In a nod to the traditional, PR pro Arik Hanson suggests a subscription to a local daily newspaper: “Nothing beats a hard-copy newspaper in your hands each morning.”

What items are on your holiday wish list? Please share your ideas in the comments, or join the discussion on the and PR Daily Facebook pages.

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