Christmas communications to-do
Christmas: the season of giving, of celebration, of peace and goodwill but as Director Fran Lawerence knows, in the corporate world this sometimes means, parties, panic and procrastination.
For many businesses, this time of year falls into one of two categories – planning the Christmas party and shelving projects until the new year, or a frantic push to get everything done before Saint Nick arrives.
While the former approach makes for a festive finish to the year, it can mean you’re setting yourself up for a painful and flat out start in January.
The latter, on the other hand, is often akin to trying to push an elephant through the eye of a needle and leaves everyone exhausted heading into the Christmas break.
So in the spirit of giving, here’s a handy Christmas list laying out a few of the things you should be thinking about as 2016 draws to a close.
Acknowledge your clients
It may be in the form of a Christmas card, it may be some festive drinks, it may be a video message, or it may just be reaching out to your key clients with a personal note or call. Whichever way you choose to do it, it’s important. Update them on your year, congratulate them on theirs, and lay the groundwork for a continued positive relationship in the year ahead.
Acknowledge your staff
This one’s a bit of a no-brainer. Keeping your staff engaged, motivated and feeling valued is key to your ongoing success. Have a Christmas lunch, an office knees-up, give a small gift… whatever works best for your business, but don’t miss the chance to say thank you, tell your staff how the business saw 2016 and what’s planned for 2017, and set the right tone for the year ahead.
Prioritise tasks to be completed before the break
Trying to get everything on your desk completed and crossed off before the Christmas break for the sake of going on holiday with a clean slate is a recipe for disaster. Take the time to assess what really needs to be finished by the end of the year, and what could potentially be picked up again in January with a fresh pair of eyes and a rested mind.
Reflect on the past 12 months
Try to carve out the time to look back at the past year with a clear eye. Think about your wins, your losses, any missed opportunities – are there lessons to be learned that can be taken forward into the new year? Which feeds nicely into the next step…
Communications planning and strategy
This is one of the tasks that tends to drop off the to-do list as the end of the year looms – but it’s one of the single most important tools you can use to set up a successful year ahead.
A strategy session with your communications adviser before the end of the year, clearly setting out your goals and your business activities for the next 12 months, means you can return well rested after the Christmas break with a structure and a roadmap in place to ensure you hit the ground running in January.
Think about the Christmas break
Not in terms of how much time you’ll spend on the beach, or how much turkey you plan to tuck into, but your office downtime. If your office is closing for any length of time, have you communicated this to your clients, and provided a point of contact should any unexpected issues arise? Are there any communications or messages that need to go out to clients or staff during the break, that need to be scheduled via EDM? Do you have a social media presence, and if so, is someone monitoring it for you and ensuring content is updated during the break? A gap of only a few days in your communications activities can have consequences that last far longer, so don’t let it slide in the festive season flurry.