Client and Colleague Gifts: It’s Never Too Late
Many editors—freelancers and in-house staff alike—give year-end holiday gifts and cards expressing appreciation to clients and colleagues. It’s a great way to cultivate collegiality and grace in your profession, but it’s also a good way to keep your name in the minds of those who make your business run smoothly. Did time-crunch or budget constraints keep you from sending out a round of appreciation this year? Read on.
1) Appreciation doesn’t have an expiration date. One year when Christmas was too busy and New Year’s was just a big deadline in my mind, I skipped them both and sent quirky Groundhog Day gift baskets to a few of my top clients and colleagues. It was the best response I ever got to holiday gifting, followed closely by the year I sent out cards for the first day of spring. Think outside the Christmas box. It’s okay to send your gifts after Christmas, when the offices aren’t empty and your colleagues aren’t flooded with similar messages and gift baskets. Just remember to clearly pick a different holiday or to use a more general message so it doesn’t seem like you simply missed the Christmas deadline.
2) Messages and gifts don’t have to strain your budget. Unique or clever office supplies fall into that category of items that we may not splurge on ourselves but we always appreciate receiving. Personalized Sharpie markers are less than $2 each—and I don’t know anyone in editing or publishing who wouldn’t love one. Locally produced items unique to your area make great gifts for colleagues, who might have only rare opportunities to get them otherwise. A small selection of teas, coffees, chocolates, nuts, etc., isn’t the most creative gift but often one of the most appreciated.
Don’t write off the annual expressions of cheer and appreciation just because Christmas has come and gone. (And if you’re freelancing, don’t write off the tax write-off. But that’s a topic for another post.)