Holiday Greetings Game Change

I don’t have the time, inclination, or energy to wrangle another 300 or so holiday cards, signatures, and stamps. Nor do I want to send the message of impersonal, mass-delivered inauthenticity. Thanks to the pervasiveness and ease of modern video technology, there is another option.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, millions of individuals are
preparing for one of three deeply demotivating projects:


1) Assembling a huge pile of
generic-but-trying-not-to-appear-generic holiday cards, assembling a matching
pile of envelopes, and then stamping each envelope and mailing each card to a
large list of personal and professional contacts.

2) Finalizing a database of personal professional
contacts, and then using e-mail and/or social media channels to launch a slew
of generic-but-trying-not-to-appear-generic virtual holiday cards to all
of those people.

3) Some combination of 1 and 2.


This year, it hit me. I simply didn’t have the time,
inclination, or energy to wrangle another 300 or so cards, signatures, and
stamps. Nor did I want to send the message of impersonal, mass-delivered
inauthenticity that I always feel whenever someone sends me a virtual holiday
card. I certainly didn’t want to combine the two. So I started thinking: Could
there be a fourth option?

Thanks to the pervasiveness and ease of modern video
technology, there is.

Option Four, as I like to call it, is definitely a
game-changer. This new plan entails–wait for it–skipping all
generic, fill-in-the blank forms of holiday correspondence, regardless of
whether they are delivered via snail-mail or digital means; ruthlessly purging
my contact list from an overblown 300-plus addresses down to the (gasp!) 20 or
so most important business relationships on my list; and then creating customized, highly personalized video messages for each of the people on that list. I will
be sharing these videos by means of YouTube’s nifty “unlisted ” video option. I
can simply upload the video to YouTube and then send the intended recipient a
link to click on. These unlisted videos don’t show up in YouTube’s public
search results; as a practical matter, the only way to access the video in
question is to get the link via an email message.


Here’s a video I made specifically to go with this post and an example of the kind of thing you could do:


I’ll be making these twenty unique videos for my twenty best
clients using the webcam and software that’s built into my Mac. Total estimated
time investment: two person-days. Compare that to the four or more person-days
that always went into the Big Holiday Business Mailing, and you see the benefit
of this approach. I’m quite confident that, in terms of impact, receiving a
unique, personalized video message from me will easily stand head and shoulders
above the typical boring, impersonal scrawl at the bottom of the holiday card.
And as for those creepily unsentimental e-messages … I never sent them,
but I know the videos I’ll be making will carry significantly more impact than
any cheesy e-greeting ever could.

I’ll keep you posted on the responses generated by my new holiday tradition. Stay tuned.

Ruth Sherman Associates
/ High-Stakes Presentation Skills Coaching, Consulting
& Media Training for CEOs, Celebrities & Politicians / Greenwich, CT


About the author

Ruth Sherman, M.A., is a strategic communications consultant focusing on preparing business leaders, politicians, celebrities, and small business entrepreneurs to leverage critical public communications including keynote speeches, webcasts, investor presentations, road shows, awards presentations, political campaigns and media contact. Her clients hail from the A-list of international business including General Electric, JP Morgan (NY, London, Frankfurt), Timex Group, Deloitte and Dubai World


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