If you know someone who works in communications, marketing, public relations or social media, this gift list will give you an idea that might be perfect for them! I've compiled this list with items that I've found useful during my decade in communications, books that I have read or are waiting patiently on my shelf, and organizations that I have made a donation to. Whether you are looking for a gift that is a tangible item, an experience or one that will support the next generations of communicators, this list includes a range of ideas for a range of budgets.
The conscious creative: Practical ethics for purposeful work
By Kelly Small, the book jacket states, "The Conscious Creative is an actionable guide to mindfulness and practical ethics for any creative who wants to make a living without selling their soul". Packed with short prompts that cover personal, economic, social and environmental actions, this book will provide the communicator you know with encouragement and inspiration as they align their work with their values.
Communicators spend a lot of time staring at screens. Sometimes it can be nice to look at something else for a moment to remind us that not everything is pixel-based. Consider an air plant—they're low maintenance and don't take up a lot of valuable desk space but add nice pop of green to any communicator's workspace. My favourite spot to get air plants in Winnipeg is Verde Plant Design.
Donation: CPRS Foundation BPOC and Indigenous Scholarship
Consider giving a gift that invests in the next generation of communicators, marketers and public relations strategists. Our field is largely populated with White women (hi!) and it's critical that we ensure anyone who wishes to pursue a career in communications is able to do so. Consider making a donation to one (or both!) of the Canadian Public Relations Society Foundation's Black, People of Colour Scholarship or Indigenous Scholarship.
These reusable notebooks are great for a communicator who is looking to reduce their paper usage. Using the Rocketbook app, notes can be scanned and automatically transcribed. There are pens and highlighters that are designed specifically for these notebooks that would be a nice complement.
There's always a lot developing and changing in the field of communications—whether it's the algorithms on social media, introduction of new tools, shifts in how media and news rooms are structured and operate, or another aspect, communicators need to be adaptive and flexible. Help the communicator you know gain new knowledge and skills by supporting their professional development.
An essential part of communications work is to lead discussions, listen and learn from our stakeholders, audiences and colleagues. To help generate thoughtful, relevant and rich discussion, consider a deck of Facilitator Cards. With a variety of types of activities designed with different goals in mind, these cards will be a useful tool to lead in person or virtual discussions for groups of all sizes.
Extra bold: A feminist inclusive anti-racist nonbinary field guide for graphic designers
Covering the areas of theory, history and work, filled with stories, biographical sketches and ideas, Extra Bold is "the design manual for everyone". Even if someone isn't a graphic designer, the principles can easily be applied to any creative field. Written by Ellen Lupton, Farah Kafei, Jennifer Tobias, Josh A. Halstead, Kaleena Sales, Leslie Xia, and Valentina Vergara.
Consider a journal or guide that sparks creativity, generates brainstorming or idea generation sessions or has prompts for writing. Sometimes it can be helpful to have a guide like this that can help get the ideas flowing or offer a new way to think about something. One book I like is 365 Days of Creativity by Lorna Scobie.
With video increasingly becoming an essential part of any communication or social media strategy, a ring light will help keep the spotlight on the subject of the video. You could look into one that has a separate stand or one that clips directly onto a cell phone.
A bag of their favourite coffee or tea, sweets or savoury snacks will always be a welcome gift to fuel creativity or power them through another virtual meeting! My favourite coffee available in Winnipeg is the Ecuadorian organic light roast from Fair Trade Alliance.