Handerpants: The Perfect (not) Gift for Your Clients

Handerpants: NOT the Perfect Holiday Gift for Your Best Client

handerpantsIt’s that time of year when business people are looking for that perfect gift for clients, employees, business partners, vendors, etc.  We’re all doing a wild balancing act this month, trying to get a lot of work done before the office empties out the last week of the year, while still finding a gift for everyone on our list.

You have to get your clients something, right? But what to get?  So much time (and money) is spent on this that I wanted to share a few thoughts.

  • Know Your Audience – I’ve gotten some great gifts over the years (loved that U.S.S. Enterprise bottle opener. Thanks, Beth!). But we’ve all had that moment when we open a gift bag, look inside and groan “what were they thinking?” Do most people (especially in PR) need another coffee mug?  Probably not. People have particular things they like. If you’re considering a certain wine, bag of coffee or dessert, you might ask someone who knows them if they’d enjoy it. Ask an executive assistant or a co-worker.

Consider as well their health and exercise habits. If you know someone’s been trying to lose weight, cut carbs, or watch their sugar intake, then candy, chocolate, peanut brittle, etc. isn’t the right choice. Same with gifts of alcohol. Buying someone workout apparel isn’t usually a good bet either.

In short, the best gifts show that you’ve thought about them — at least for a minute!gift basket

  • Know the Rules – Ask your client if they’re even allowed to accept gifts.  We have some clients whose companies have very strict rules about receiving gifts.  That may apply to some media outlets as well. CNN used to have a “less than $25” rule for gifts.
  • Keep the Spirit of the Season – Offices get tons of gift baskets. Rather than adding to their weight and “temptation” issues, consider making a donation in their name to a charity. If they have one they volunteer with throughout the year, you can donate to that one. Or choose a non-profit that you respect, like Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta.  This kind of gift is also good if you work with a lot of different people at a company and don’t want to give a gift to just one person.
  • Gift of Gift Cards – Gift cards can be a great choice. But make sure you check where they can be used. If you buy a restaurant card for a great place in Alpharetta, but the recipient lives in Rockdale County, then it’s not likely to be used. If you’re not sure, look for a chain that has many locations. Buckhead Life restaurants have several in-town locations so they’re great for folks ITP, but maybe not for folks on your list who live in Newnan (P.S. Make sure the chain is still in business. I got one like that once!)

Movie gifts cardsfruitcake are great, but people have their favorite theaters, so ask the question if possible. Make sure it’s a theater that’s near where they live.

Same with store cards. It’s hard to know what people need. Sure, if they’ve just had a baby then Babies R Us is probably a good bet.  But if they’re not outdoorsy kind of people, then that REI gift card will likely gather dust. But that might be perfect if say you know they’re going on a big canoe trip in a few months.

My son Harry put it simply, “People don’t like getting clothes, so don’t buy clothes [that might just be him]. Unless they ask specifically for a Target gift card, don’t get that for them.”

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