By: Steve Scaffidi, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations
Right around the middle of December conversations at work slowly begin to shift from work to family, as the approaching holidays announce the end of another calendar year. For clients and employees, the holiday season can also mean wrapping up some of the projects you’ve worked on all year. Budgets are reviewed, tasks are completed, and for many of us, the end of the year also means time off. But before you take off to spend time with your family during the holidays, it might be a good opportunity to reach out to your clients and reestablish those important connections, building a solid foundation for next year.
It used to be common practice to send a client a gift basket or a token of appreciation for their business just before the holidays. That's still acceptable, and there are certainly a ton of fun options to pick from now. And of course, who doesn't like to get a present, especially at this time of year?
But it can be just as important to make a simple phone call to wish your client a happy holiday season, thanking them for their business and doing a quick review of the successes and wins you've had over the past year. Keep it simple and short, because at this point most folks are thinking less about work and more about the time off. Leave them with a quick comment on what's ahead, and offer a nugget of a new idea or suggestion for next year, planting the seed for a great future conversation.
Once you've made that call, take a look at what you've accomplished for your client. Did you meet their expectations? Did you find new opportunities to tell their story? As the year winds down, take the time to review publication editorial calendars for potential pitches, and look for industry topics that match up with your client's business. As the work slows down in December, planning for next year can fill in the gaps when matching workload to client budgets.
The end of the year will always be a time for family, and getting away from the stresses and challenges of work. But take the time just before that break to "recharge the batteries" for your client. Lay out a plan for next year, research what's working in the industry and what's not. As you celebrate with family and friends, toast the New Year and make a resolution that your best work is ahead.
What are your best end of the year strategies? Do you have a tried and true method for transitioning your client through the holidays?