Lee's 'Better Communication Results' blog

A blog to help YOU communicate better for better business results!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Corporate gifts

Just been having a fabulous email discussion with a long-time friend of mine.

He recently received a company-badged thermos flask as a gift from his employer (everyone in his office got one).

In itself, the idea of the gift is lovely. But the problem he has it that the flask is a 'second'. Which for him raises the issue -- "how valuable am I?"

Indeed, over the years I have received lots of promotional 'seconds' from my employers:
  • t-shirts that were four sizes smaller than the label suggested;
  • t-shirts and pens with the 'old' branding/logo on them, but only given once a new branding or logo was being rolled out;
  • a golf umbrella that had puncture holes in the fabric and one bent spoke that repeatedly fell out of its holder
  • a desktop calculator/notepad combination that didn't work (the batteries had leaked, damaging the circuitry)

... all of which does indeed make one ask the question: "How valuable am I to my employers that they are willing to dump their unwanted, broken marketing junk on me?"

One of the roles of any internal communication is to create a feeling of comradeship between sender and recipient, so that the recipient feels 'valued' and that the communication isn't a waste of their valuable time.

Whether that communication is an intangible like a smile, or a tangible like a newsletter, email or a thermos drink flask, surely it beholdens the organization to ensure that the message it is sending along with the gift is one that enhances the relationship?

If communication is all about dialogue, a one-to-one or one-to-many dialogue, then what dialogue (either verbally or internally) do you think follows the receipt of yet another piece of marketing junk?