Happy holidays! Merry Christmas! Warm winter solstice!

Normally I love Christmas. I’m usually super-organized with presents wrapped and Christmas shortbread baked by early December. But for some reason, this year is different. All my gifts are purchased, but I’m still wrapping. And there’s no shortbread (honestly, that’s the absolute worst of it).

If you’re like me and you’re a little behind in your Christmas preparations, here are 13 stocking stuffer ideas for the public relations pro in your life:

#1 iPad Mini

What PR pro doesn’t need an even smaller iPad? The new version fits in a purse or jacket pocket, is great for taking notes on the go or even writing a blog post while waiting in line at the grocery store.

#2 iPad stylus

If you can’t afford an iPad Mini, get your public relations pro a new stylus. They may have lost the one you gave them last Christmas or need an extra for their briefcase.

#3 A timer

I’ve got in the habit of timing my tasks with a digital timer that sits conveniently on my desk. It helps ensure I don’t spend too much time on Twitter or LinkedIn every morning. I set it for 10 minutes and if I’m not finished tweeting when it beeps, I stop anyway. It’s turning out to be a good time management tool.

#4 Style guide

Every public relations pro needs a good style guide. My colleague Marcia Ross (who’s a far better writer than I am) recommends Strunk & White,  the Canadian Style  and the Chicago Manual of Style (probably the most popular style guide in the world).

#5 Herbal tea

Teavana (now owned by Starbucks) has some of the best teas going. You can even purchase a membership to receive a sampling of their loose leaf teas every month. The public relations pro will appreciate Blissful Moments, a “selection of caffeine free and low-caffeine teas selected for maximum relaxation.”

#6 A well-written book

Most PR pros love to read. They understand there’s no better way to improve their own writing. Pick one of your favourites from the last year, fiction or non-fiction, for their stocking. If you’re not a reader, here are three of my faves:

In the garden of beasts: Love, terror and an American family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson

The title says it all. Larson’s tale recounts the story of the William E. Dodd, the American ambassador to Berlin in 1930s Berlin.

Watergate: A novel by Thomas Mallon

I never thought I could feel sorry for Richard Nixon, but after reading this book I had empathy for almost the entire Watergate crowd.

Annabel by Kathleen Winter

Annabel is the story of a mysterious child who appears to be neither fully boy nor girl, but both at once. Set in Labrador, this novel is a Canadian page-turner.

#7 Tylenol

A public relations pro can never have too much Tylenol.

#8 Gift certificate to a spa

If someone gave me a gift certificate to a spa, I’d probably cry. A day—even a half day—of pampering would be greatly appreciated right now.

#9 Bottle of single malt Scotch

Everyone’s taste is different but you usually can’t go wrong with Highland Park (any vintage). It’s not the most expensive single malt, but it makes almost any Scotch drinker happy.

#10 Quality pen

Yes, some of us still write long-hand from time-to-time. A quality pen is perfect for client meetings with a goal to impress.

#11 Gym membership

Every PR pro should be working out regularly—otherwise they’ll go bananas with all the stress in their life. Encourage them with a membership to a nearby gym. Their workouts will keep both of you sane.

#12 Movie passes

PR pros need to be on top of pop-culture. I’ve got Lincoln, The Hobbit and Les Mis scheduled for next week.

#13 Subscription to the New Yorker

Reading the New Yorker is a real luxury for me but, sadly, I’m not in the habit any more. But if someone were to pop a subscription into my stocking, I wouldn’t mind at all.



What are you putting in your public relations pro’s stocking this year?

Written by Shelley Pringle