December Dilemma

Well it’s that time of year again so here’s a seasonal blog for you.  Public Relations and other parts of the business that manage key stakeholder relationships are generally tasked with sending the customary Christmas greeting.  So here’s the question. What do you prefer?  The traditional corporate Christmas card made from recycled material or the e-card greeting?

Now regular card does not even come into the equation because we all have to be seen to be behaving sustainably,  doing our bit for the planet.  Both can contribute to charity, so again not in the equation.  Is your preference for a hand written card with the knowledge that someone has taken the effort to personally write that out for you? Or the electronic greeting because it’s the more sustainable option not to mention it saves you lots of time to do other things for your stakeholders.

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15 Responses to December Dilemma

  1. 007scorpion says:

    made worse by the fact that the recycled card front picture is limited (let’s say 20 versions)…even if you get a card chance is someone close to you got the same one and has the same/similar message. Christmas…it’s about the thought and effort. I would rather have a e-card on record in my inbox of my Christmas wishes (individual) than a card plastered with the same punch line.

    Of course, it really does depend on your office…there are only 24% Christians at my place of work. So I feel e-cards are sustainably and don’t get in anybodies face. As for last years PC term ‘winter celebrations’ well the Christmas drinks is certainly a free-for-all…if they get in with the snow (surprising the efforts made on this day)

  2. Judge Jon says:

    Traditional cards mean something. Handwritten every time.

  3. cpurnell says:

    I think for corporate cards, the e-version is fine … if it’s managed properly so that it doesn’t clog up your inbox! For family and friends, you can’t beat something to hang on the wall.

  4. Claire Farfield says:

    Aside from the faceless machine sending you best wishes for Christmas (maybe a bit weird) it essentially comes down to whether you prefer a letter or an email, a digital photo attachment or something you can hold in your hand. Whats wrong with mixing it up sometimes and having both? You are more likely to keep a real Christmas card and use it to help decorate your home at Christmas – is anyone going to print out their email one?! Most of us spend a large chunk of our time at work so why not have a Christmas card from them? I Would probably immediately delete an e-Christmas card but remember (over the holiday) the physical one as it would be staring at me in my living room and maybe it would help with work morale! A little bit of effort can go a long way. Everyone knows clicking a send button is cheaper and quicker than posting a card.

  5. Melanie says:

    I hate corporate Christmas cards and their slimy seasons greetings. The cost and effort of an e-card is, at least, more fitting for the disingenuous sentiments. However- 007scorpion has a great point; you are discriminating against those who don’t celebrate christmas. It is a preposterous practice, outdated and false.

  6. Country Lass says:

    For me e-cards are fine if they’re from corporate/folk you’re not that bothered about anyway. However, from those I want to receive greetings from i.e. family and friends – I look forward to looking at and enjoying the card they’ve selected and written to me. I’d be very interested to know whether people who don’t celebrate Christmas feel that they are being discriminated against (as suggested by Melanie ) if they get sent a card or, whether they’d feel more discriminated against if they didn’t get one.
    P.S. Merry Christmas everyone!

  7. 007scorpion says:

    sending cards between religious groups…my knowledge of non-Christian card sending escapes me, I’m pretty sure most other religions have something more meaningful than the the sending and receiving of cards….anyhow…us Christian decide to do so…and we we enjoy the expressing our thoughts and wishes to others….and be honest we feel enriched by the reciprocation of others. Reciprocation is powerful, how often to we forget someone and make up the odd ‘white lie’ was going to drop you card in personally later in the week…thought my other half gave it too you. Question is giving cards may not be offensive in it’s nature…but we should be careful of the power of reciprocation. In the same way using lavish presents can force others to spend more. Point is…let’s not forget why we have this celebration, and please consider the power and influence of reciprocation.

  8. The Flying Scotsman says:

    Personally, I’d prefer to receive a regular card even if it is insincere. It might be nice to get a personalised card if you work in a small company where everyone knows each other. In larger corporations it serves as extra note paper, so big or small I can see benefits. E-cards tend to be a nuisance and clog up my inbox, which I’m sure we all struggle to keep under control, so I prefer not to receive them and unfortunately my spam filter doesn’t stop them!

  9. black flatfoot says:

    well in year 1, we got nice cards to give
    year 2, boring and well cheap cards
    year 3, the message was you can give cheap cards or e-cards
    year 4, e-cards only, but with donation to charity
    year 5, no e-cards either, but you can donate to charity if you wish
    year 6, who knows, take a guess

    but what’s the logic in this, what’s the corporate message “The Big Company” wish to give ? Is this part of a changing and evolving corporate comms strategy? Has corporate comms got too big for its boots with trivia being scrutinised ? Is it just greater scrutiny, ethics, and so called corporate responsibility now dominating the great minds of corporate leaders. Or is it just company humbug and “scroogeness” ? I’d be interested to know if any of this echoes the situation in their organisations, and reasons for this.

    • Hamish says:

      och, thats a shame. As my auld grannie Mollie used to say ” it may be a wee card son, but it comes with a big heart”. Maybe your company needs to worry about its people more and become less profit motivated.

      • black flatfoot says:

        Dear Hamish

        My company does say that people are its most important resource, but the issue might be the way the company now deploys processes. Corporate communications like everything else it seems is undertaken through formulaic frameworks, that are not necessarily well thought out and made relevant to the circumstances. However i’m sure there is some wisdom in your grandmothers saying !

  10. BOng says:

    Though I would like to have a hardcopy of the christmas card, i feel that it’s not so good for the environment. I’ve stopped buying them now but still donated to charity instead.

  11. Anne says:

    Wow where to start. First of all maintaining good stakeholder relationships is a year round activity, the sending of an e-card or traditional card should not make or break stakeholder opinion as hopefully mutual respect and interaction over the year has built something stronger.
    Personally I would agree that e-cards are appropriate at a corporate level, as long as their size is minimised. For particular stakeholders where you have a long or close working relationship I think a hand written card to the individuals you deal with adds a personal touch. A printed card saying ‘Merry Xmas from Crowds Inc’ smacks of mass production and insincerity.
    Employees as a key stakeholder group is the most difficult one to get right. There is no one size fits all, some will criticise the card where others might be content. What is important is to take the opportunity to make sure something is done for employees to acknowledge their work throughout the year. In times of budget cutbacks or restructuring it is particularly important to make some gesture to bolster morale. Whether that takes the form of Xmas lunch, a hamper, a bottle of wine, a card its a time when a little thought can go a long way.

  12. Rob says:

    Surely in these politically correct times, it’s not appropriate for any sort of card to be sent? What about those who get the e-card who don’t celebrate Christmas? Tut tut.

    I received my organisations e-card today. Twice. I’m on two separate mailing lists within the organisation. Clearly the card was sent out with no thought, and had no personal meaning. At least with an e-card I didn’t have to worry about the cutting down of hundreds of trees for no purpose other than to fill my recycling bin.

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