Dear Santa …

by Dan Ward

Dear Santa:

             In addition to a Zhu Zhu pet, I have a small list of things that could really help me out this year.  It’s not just for me, you see, but really for anyone trying to run a small business. 

            The North Pole Daily Bugle has undoubtedly run a story or two about corporate big wigs that will be getting coal in their stockings this year.  I hope you see that while the papers dwell on those who are naughty, many more of us have tried to be nice, even when the going got increasingly tough.

            So here’s my list.  Thanks for anything you can do.  Love to Mrs. Claus.

 1.  Sugar plums for those who keep communicating … it’s only natural that with the economy in tatters, many business owners feel the need to cut back everywhere, including marketing and communications.  But the consumers who purchase their goods and services still expect to hear from them; if they don’t, they’ll be more than happy to move on to a competitor who IS communicating. 

 Santa, can you please remind folks that the economy will rebound, and when it does, those who have communicated often and honestly with their customers and community are those that will see their cash registers ring?

2.  A “green” Christmas for those who focus on the long-term … this is a wish for all of us, from consumers to business leaders to government officials.  This recession has made us all worry about today’s paycheck, tomorrow’s sales and next week’s campaign rally. 

Santa, please let us not forget our shared responsibility to look over the horizon, so that our kids, our customers and our constituents will have a brighter future without the worries that we face today.

3.  Hugs for those who remember the original “social media” … yes, it’s important that we help our clients manage their social networks, and utilize the latest tools to reach customers through posts, tweets and apps. 

But Santa, can you help us remind businesses that no matter what technological advances we see in the next year, nothing can replace the power of “old school” communication?  Meeting with your community leaders and holding actual conversations with customers … that’s still powerful stuff.

Thank you, Santa.  I’m wishing you and yours a Happy Christmas and a very good night.

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