By Niki Wheeler, Director, Launch,
Mariah Carey on repeat on the radio, Christmas trees twinkling in receptions across the land and diaries ram packed full of calls, creative sessions and festive catch-ups.
As the Christmas Gift Guides close for another year, it’s all about fresh thinking as 2019 plans get finalised. More time out of the office often provides additional perspective as you immerse yourself in the hospitality and retail landscape.
It is also about nailing the ‘old chestnuts’ such as the Year In Review roundups as well as the commercially driven New Year New You and Mother’s Day trading opps with thinking that will get cut through.
December is also a good time to take stock – reviewing suppliers, subscriptions and content for the year ahead. Plans must now be nimble as Brexit, exchange rates and challenges around consumer confidence make for unprecedented trading conditions. We’ve certainly seen more overseas clients on Launch’s books in recent months as those headquartered abroad see a London agency as an attractive, good value option.
So, is the holiday season really a holiday?
The run up to it isn’t. For an extrovert comms person – this time of year can be one of the most buzzy and productive. There is no better time to get under the skin of what clients, media and influencers, prospects or indeed colleagues really want than spending time with people – out of the office.
It isn’t just the drinks flowing. It is the conversation and literally building goodwill. What might seem like a crazy time of year is actually a great opportunity to reconnect – on work, Europe, film or book tips, how people will be spending the Holiday as well as their plans for the year ahead.
Outside of work, the advantages of working in comms are also clear.
Those of us with clients in retail and hospitality or who follow trailblazers on Insta have known exactly what gifts to buy, how to style up homes, where to go and what to eat from July onwards.
This saves a considerable amount of time.
The inevitable round of non-work parties, concerts, dinners and drinks are also a great source of new business or experts too.
But what we really want for our people over Christmas is peace and goodwill.
A rota is also key to helping people switch off. As the shops, roads and railways get busy – so do our Community Management teams. Clients also enjoying the break means that escalation policies on issues and crisis management are critical while the time between Christmas and New Year often provides a good time for proactive media relations.
When they aren’t working or on call – we want our Launchers to switch off, recharge and enjoy themselves so they’re ready to kick off their plans for 2019 with some new energy and sparkle.
So, is the Holiday Season a Holiday? Yes – but we’ve earned it by the time it comes.