November 30, 2012
/ by Lisa Denten
Photo courtesy of ChristmasStockImages.com
Peter Mayer polled 116 agencies to find out what communications professionals want for the holidays, but do you know what you need? We took a look at the responses – some sad (underwear and socks, really?), some delightful (ALL THE THINGS in Skymall!) – and drafted a list of some practical items to add to your list or give to the communications professional in your life.
Personal Branding – You spend all day promoting the efforts of others, but are you doing the same for yourself? There are a few items you can gift to strengthen the business of self: unique website URL, business cards, professional head shot (this can be DIY!), ticket to a meetup or networking event, membership to a professional organization, or even personalized note cards for a little flair.
Makeover or Under – Let’s be honest: looks matter. This doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands on a wardrobe, become superficial or be pretentious (ick!), but it does mean you should work it! Think about the people who have portrayed communications professionals: Samantha from Sex and the City, Ben Affleck in Jersey Girl, Stewie Griffin in Family Guy(!). Wear whatever makes you feel confident and self-assured, and make sure you know the look you’re portraying. If it’s, ‘I never let go of the 80s,’ people may think your skill set is stuck in the 80s, too. Treat yourself to that hair cut, new nail lacquer, fancy bag or suit coat if it makes you feel fab-u-lous, because you are.
Phone Cover & Holder – It’s your link to the world, protect it! As careful as you are, you will drop it. Although we do advocate powering down now-and-then, chances are your phone will break when you’re waiting for a call back from The New York Times or Ryan Gosling. There are millions of fun options for a cover but make sure it’s functional and pretty (some people swear by OtterBox). For a holder, we like Red Envelope’s monogrammed case or the leather and wool case from Ted Baker.
CisionPoint – Was that cheating? We couldn’t resist. You and CisionPoint will make the perfect power couple. It’s loyal, has an eye on the future and is always improving itself. Plus, it won’t punch Gabriel Aubry in the face.
Continuing Education – Invest in yourself. Consider an accreditation in public relations or marketing, try to attend at least one conference each year, and keep up on industry news. If you don’t have the budget for a bigger ticket item, consider free alternatives like webinars (Cision’s are free), Twitter chats and subscribing to your favorite blogs’ RSS feeds (hint, hint).
If You Must – Buy yourself those “socks and undies” and that “Hang In There” cat poster, but while you’re at it, take a deeper look at your career and make sure your passion and vigor are evident.
Then, pat yourself on the back and enjoy. Here’s to hoping you get that private island next year.
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