It’s the first of December, shopping centre car parks are becoming increasingly frenetic and Michael Buble is once again emerging from hibernation. Yes, Virginia, the countdown to Christmas is officially on!
Not content with preparing for the festive season with daily bites of puzzlingly shaped chocolate, like the Good Lord (/Cadbury) surely intended, more and more of us are now gifting/indulging in luxury advent calendars. Why wait for the 25th when you can unwrap a luxurious treat every day? Of course, all luxury advent calendars are not created equal, but it has got me thinking – what would us comms pros most like to be treated to as we tactfully tell the CEO the Christmas jumper looks great in the video message, but the reindeer ears and flashing red nose might be pushing it slightly?
So here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody’s having… the #CommsAdventCalendar!
Start the season in style with an adequately completed brief, featuring everyone’s festive favourite, reasonable and clearly articulated goals. No bells and whistles here, but receiving one still feels like finding the last Furby in Argos in the late nineties.
A sudden and permanent cessation of colleagues and clients asking for “a viral”.
The One. When you find them, you’ll never let them go. Not only are they always there for you, they anticipate your needs, work around your unreasonable demands and take your very best ideas and make them even better. Truly, good printers are worth their weight in gold, frankincense and myrrh.
A super comprehensive dictionary/thesaurus/wordfinder, for writing and editing content which includes phrases like gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Your dream team of colleagues, clients and associate freelancers. The ones who somehow find themselves on the same wavelength as you, and know just when to get the heads down, how to spark the so-so into the sensational, and why the most insignificant things become hysterical and legendary when you’ve all been stretched past breaking point just a little bit too long.
A cohesive leadership team who seek out, value and act on comms advice.
Survey respondees who are not only willing to take part, but willing to select options outside the mid-scale and non-applicable options. Bless their little cotton actionable insights.
Sharpies. Stuck for an idea? Blank piece of paper & a Sharpie mind map. Need a volunteer to scribe in the session you’re facilitating? Dangle a Sharpie tantalisingly in the air. Want to sketch something quickly but have it look more ‘rustic’ than ‘rubbishy’? Sharpies in a variety of weights and colours. They don’t call it the most wonderful time of year for no reason, folks.
More hours in the day. Sometimes it’s the simple things.
More cash in the budget. Sometimes it’s the ever so slightly more expensive things, with the metallic embossed finish.
A better understanding of what we actually do. Better than, say, this Cosmo writer has. Or more likely, had. One suspects their illustrious colleagues may have found time in their busybusyverybusy schedules for a chat.
Similarly, a better understanding of what we don’t do. (The all colleague email about your lost jumper; the press release that can only be understood by four people globally, all of whom work for the company; acting as the clearing house for every call, issue and project that nobody else in the organisation quite knows how to deal with…).
Being brought into projects at that sweet spot: not too early (‘so I think the comms team could run with this, maybe flesh out the idea…’); not too late (‘we’re changing this critical system that everyone relies on. Tomorrow. And people have to follow this 97 step flowchart by 5pm tonight or their work will be lost. Can you stick it on an email?’).
Those three little words: “Well done comms!”
The utter luxury of being able to use the time you set aside for evaluation for actual evaluation.
A tardis-like extension to the comms cupboard. Between the roll up banners, the branded merchandise and the sweetie tins that, disappointingly, now hold only blu tack and post-its, you could always use more space. You could use it for Sharpies.
A red pen that never runs out of ink, for all your editing needs.
A pair of magical proofreading specs, meaning you never again miss a typo. Especially not the one where you miss out that oh-so-important third consonant in public relations.
One planner to rule them all. Events, internal messaging, external messaging, cross organisational activity…it’s all in here, ever up to date and in glorious technicolour.
A top of the line office chair. While you’re working your bum off, it should at least be comfy.
A chance to follow up and apply all the great learning generously shared by fellow comms pros at conferences, events and 8pm on Monday nights.
No more read receipts. Especially on the 87th sales email this week promising unbeatable offers on branded pens. Especially since there’s no room for new merch now that the comms cupboard is full of Sharpies.
Award nominations, shortlists and wins. While delivering for our organisations and audiences is the ultimate goal, it never hurts to have a bit of validation!
Direct attribution of results. That punch the air feeling of knowing for a fact your plans paid off would put a smile on the Grinch-iest of faces.
A locked metal box in which to place your work phone for the duration of your Christmas break. Relax, reconnect, and defy the laws of electricity by simultaneously unplugging and recharging. You’ve earned it, comms pros!
PS to any readers at work who click on the Yes, Virginia link – I hope you’re made of sterner stuff then me. One of my favourite pieces of writing and has me in bits every time. Happy schmaltz season everybody!