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In Praise of Strategic Silence During the Holidays

Perhaps it’s the post-Thanksgiving tryptophan come-down. It might be football-induced zombification. In any case, like most folks, we’re rolling in to this week having to shake off some major sluggishness brought on by over-eating and under-moving.

So it’s official, the holidays are upon us. Let loose a barrage of seasonal greetings and gift-giving you hope finds a slice of attention in the midst of all the Black Friday-to-New Year’s Day static. By all means, don’t abandon your plans for polite, professional holiday outreach. Do consider, however, being a bit more selective with major announcements and big kickoffs. This is a time when many of us are AWAOD — Absent While At Our Desks. Our minds are on the next party, our screens are secretly clocking shopping sites, and everyone’s work ethic is essentially swimming in eggnog.

What does this mean for your marketing efforts? We certainly wouldn’t suggest stepping away entirely, but you do need to prioritize. If you have a major announcement in the wings, consider whether it will get lost in holiday hubbub. It might do better waiting until after the National Championship Game.

In the meantime, you can maintain steady, if less-intense visibility efforts — lighthearted blog posts that make easy reading for those with nano-second attention spans, or perhaps an end-of-year eNewsletter that recaps 2010, thanks clients, and alludes to forthcoming efforts. At the very least, a quick holiday eCard blast can express best wishes on your behalf.

If you have news especially relevant to the holidays (e.g. you’re pushing something that would make a great gift, or you have an irresistible end-of-year incentive for your services) take the time to craft messaging and time delivery so that, again, it doesn’t get lost in the swirl. If there’s one thing folks are looking for in this economy, it’s a deal, so your one-time discount might be right on time.

Long story short: However you plan close out the year, keep in mind that the calendar is just as important as the content when it comes to messaging.

And to all, a good night . . .