The holiday season can be one of the most exciting times of the year, but nobody can deny that it causes a lot of unwanted stress. Between planning the holiday meal, the travel and the expected anxiety that comes with spending time with family—the stress can weigh heavily on us. Below are some tips for planning the perfect holiday dinner from a public relations standpoint.
Know your Audience
Before we start any public relations campaign, we do our research. At Hope-Beckham, we always want to make sure that we are targeting the right people with the appropriate messaging. You will want to apply this same concept to making sure that you have dishes that everyone can enjoy. Your aunt might have decided to switch to a vegan diet over the past year and your cousin might be watching her weight. Your family will appreciate the extra time spent making sure there is a little something for everyone. I always like to serve my traditional sweet potato casserole loaded with pecans and toasted marshmallows. For guests who didn’t want to indulge in the extra calories, I also served roasted sweet potatoes garnished with thyme and garlic.
To generate press, at Hope-Beckham, we are often thinking of “out of the box” ideas for our clients. Sometimes it’s easier to take a traditional approach to campaigns, but often times, the most outlandish ideas get the most attention. Take this concept, and let yourself think about what would be really fun to do with your family for your holiday dinner. Last year, my family built a beautiful tablescape filled with natural elements, blue and white pumpkins, seeded eucalyptus, pinecones and acorns. We got a plethora of compliments as it filled the room with the perfect amount of holiday spirit. We also decided to incorporate dishes that would not typically be found around a holiday table, but would mean something special to our extended family from Louisiana. That said, we thought it would be fun to serve up Cajun Cornbread Stuffing.
Utilize Your Entire Team
There is no successful team on this planet that can attribute all their success to one person. At Hope-Beckham, we work cohesively as a team as every member plays a key part in making our client campaigns successful. This same principle applies to the preparation of a holiday dinner. It takes a team to plan and strategize any successful campaign as it does to delegate food preparation, set the table, cook and clean. It’s also important to let everyone feel included and not object to any ideas. Even a random remark can lead to a great idea or dish.
Hope-Beckham has built a strong foundation from the many relationships that have been cultivated over the years. It is important to build relationships with those who work within our field, but it is equally important in our personal lives as well. When family gathers around a table, the relationships that are strained can feel even more so when everyone is in the same room. It’s important to make a mental note of your family members’ triggers and make a plan to avoid those irritations. Also, it’s nice to go the extra step at complimenting guests who could use the sentiment. I usually make a point to compliment my mother on her outfit knowing that she hardly had time to think of herself after cooking all day. Your words might go a long way in shaping the spirit of the evening.