The perfect PR gifts from our Christmas hamper

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What is the perfect Christmas gift for somebody who works in PR and marketing? 

With the John Lewis advert pulling heartstrings, Black Friday making a dent in our wallets and Whamageddon almost upon us, it’s that time of year when we need to think about what pressies to buy our friends and families. And we thought we’d help with some suggestions of our own. Maybe you have a cousin who works in digital marketing, or need to buy a Secret Santa for a colleague? That’s why we asked the team for the perfect PR gifts they would put in the Nielsen McAllister Christmas hamper. 

DISCLAIMER: Apologies in advance if you suddenly get more than one of something. Who knew notebooks are so popular? 


Why Agility is a must for Rhiannon  

PR is all about getting press coverage for your company, clients’, and products’ – and so maintaining good media relationships is key.  

In short, that means making sure your Filofax is brimming with journalists contact details. 

Thus, the ace up one’s sleeve has to be a decent PR database.   

Utter godsends, these platforms are structured directories of journalists, influencers, bloggers, columnists, and broadcasters – allowing comms professionals to search and find the right people to ‘schmooze’ when seeking earned media coverage.   

Beat, region, outlet, media type – all valuable search methods when finding journos writing about your area of interest. Key words allow you to prune your media distribution lists, letting you narrow in on subset of contacts who are most relevant to the story you’re pitching. 

And the icing on the cake – these platforms replace the manual, eye-watering process that is media monitoring, allowing you to analyse press coverage in a faction of the time.   

Agility PRSolutions – you’re sleigh-in’ it.  


Bob eats, shoots and leaves 

I am by no means an expert when it comes to grammar and punctuation, but I do believe that as communication professionals we should endeavour to follow the rules in all our written work. 

However, grammatical textbooks can be so dull. My gift to the hamper would therefore be Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. It not only contains lots of useful tips and information, it’s a great laugh-out-loud read. 

Im sure, your going to enjoy it! 


Why Hannah loves her notebook 

Having thought about this for weeks, I had told myself I didn’t really want a ‘wishy-washy’ or boring contribution to the NM PR Christmas hamper. I wanted to think of something worthwhile, perhaps a website or a type of cool gadget or software that would aid any PR employee day-to-day. But unfortunately, the truth is, there is nothing I have used more in my first couple of months than my trusty little notebook. The old pen and paper. So incredibly boring, I know – so apologies for this dull virtual gift, reader. But I promise it will be useful! 

I’ve discovered that one of the single most important skills you have to learn (if you want a career in PR) is how to multi-task and efficiently split your time. Also known as, the dreaded ‘spinning of plates’… I’m new to this myself and inherently clumsy, so only recently getting the hang of it.  

However, my notebook has been my go-to for this kind of thing (alongside my calendar, of course) because I simply write everything down. I usually allocate a page or two per week for each client and from our Monday meeting, throughout the week I’ll continuously add little notes to refer back to in order to be able to prioritise my tasks and make to-do lists. It makes juggling things so much easier. 

I’ve never been one to make my notes or to-do lists on a computer. I love the visual and cathartic aspect of scribbling all my plans and ideas down on pen and paper to clear my mind and focus on the more imminent tasks. So there it is, my gift. Simple and very boring, I know – but you can’t say it’s not useful. 


Simon is dreaming of a white, snowy, milky, unpigmented Christmas 

The perfect PR hamper would have to contain a Thesaurus. This indispensable tool helps content creators avoid repetition and adds new – and appropriate – words to our writing.  

So, whether it’s simply helping on those days when you’re struggling to express yourself or finding the new word for delivering, providing, furnishing or just supplying interest to your latest piece, your Roget’s, Collins or even thesaurus.com is the ultimate PR stocking filler.  


Alona’s magic wish list 

If I were suddenly asked what I would like to receive as a professional holiday gift, it is unlikely that this question would catch me off guard. Not from levity, rather the opposite. As a person who seeks inspiration for daily exploits (the work of a PR specialist is no feat, but there is certainly something heroic about it), I would like to get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  

For example, it could be a ticket to the Cannes Lions festival! In my professional life, I’m inspired by unconventional, emotional communication solutions that give a kick to the slumbering creator in you.  

As you know, Cannes Lions is probably the world’s biggest platform for emotional reboot and sharing for everyone working in communications. More than 16 thousand cases!  It is the quintessence of creativity and business, everything that breaks out of the usual context, everything that pumps the brain, forming new neutron connections. It’s no coincidence that the slogan of the Lions is “Unleash Your Creativity.”  

But, of course, these are dreams. After all, a ticket for the Cannes Lions costs as much as a plane wing. So, I’d rather dream about an interview with Evgeny Chichvarkin, a businessman, a great friend of Ukraine, who almost became the head of Ukrnafta after the victory of the Revolution of Dignity in 2014. His track record includes founding the largest chain of cell phone stores, which made him the richest man under the age of 35 in Russia with a fortune of about $1.6 billion. Now, since 2008 to be exact, he lives in the United Kingdom, where he founded Hedonism Wines, a wine store in the prestigious Mayfair district of London.  

I think a press lunch with him could definitely reset my brain. 


Simon offers 253 words of advice 

Good PR and content writing means being able to get your point across as succinctly as possible – but without sacrificing any of the style and personality that helps engage with your readers. 

And then you need to do this again, and again, and again. 

How can you maintain that kind of consistency? 

My secret weapon, and constant source of inspiration, is an experimental novel, originally published online in the halcyon days of the World Wide Web. 

Titled ‘253’ by Geoff Ryman, it is set aboard a London tube train where every seat is taken and nobody has to stand. Including the driver, this means there are 253 characters. 

Ryman writes a page about everybody aboard, the gimmick being that every portrait is exactly 253 words long.  Ryman’s greatest skill lies in creating believable people, from all walks of life. It’s proof of just how much you can convey in the tightest of word counts. 

Better still, you can read it in linear fashion, seat by seat, or you can hop from one viewpoint to another – say, if a passenger is staring at somebody across from them.  Just like clicking from one blog to the next. Whatever order you choose, you gradually unpack recurring themes or shared experiences, meaning it works equally as literature and as a primer in SEO strategy. 

Whether it’s to remind myself to keep things short, or to mentor colleagues on their own writing, this book has been invaluable. Now, 253 words later, I share this gift with you. 


Molly has designs on Canva 

There is an increasingly wide variety of useful tools for marketers, helping them with everything from keyword planning to content ideas. However, nothing is as essential or as fun to use as Canva 

A design platform that requires no prior experience and offers a variety of templates to get you started – what more could you want? There are options for graphics, presentations, videos, logos, banners, even business cards. The room for creativity is immense.  

This platform has also helped me develop my skills with their Design School, filled with detailed tutorials and educational courses.  

Canva is the perfect ‘first step’ into the world of content creation, and a resource that any marketer (experienced or new) should have in their hamper.  And at £99 for a whole year, you can’t go wrong.  


Why Wendy loves her notebook 

It’s a no brainer for me. Everyone in PR and marketing needs a small, handy notebook! 

When you are client facing, it is really useful to date your page, jot stuff down and keep it as your ‘to do’ list when you’re back in the office. 

Some of my work colleagues take notes on their phones and laptops – but for me, nothing beats pen and paper! 


Richard picks everybody else! 

Pen? Tick. Notepad? Tick. Good client brief? Tick (sometimes…). Deadline? Tick. Wordcount? Tick. Research? Tick, and double tick. Bomb-proof Word document? Tick. 

So, I’m all good to go.  

However, there is one thing that I need as much as – if not more than – all these, and something that anyone in our industry should seek out, before even grabbing their favourite Bic biro. And it simply MUST go into any PR/marketing Christmas hamper 

It’s something that NMPR excels at and makes my work constantly both easier and better. 

There is nothing more affirmative, effective and reassuring than the objective, kindly, informed and experienced second pair of eyes from a team member. It helps avoid errors and often provides really useful extra input, to make my work the best it can be for the client. 

So, my inclusion on the NMPR hamper? 

The support of a team you can trust to back you all the way. 

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