Julie Talenfeld of BoardRoom PR. Julie Talenfeld of BoardRoom PR.

It’s that time of year to spread some holiday cheer. Just because it’s the holiday season, doesn’t mean it’s time to take a break from your marketing plan. Now is the time to put some extra thought and creativity into staying top of mind going into 2019.

How are you going to stay top of mind while you’re out of the office? There are ways to remain on someone’s radar without being in full business mode. The holidays are all about giving thanks and showing appreciation for your key contacts. Set aside a budget for the most wonderful time of year.

The list. You need to figure out how many people you will be thanking, and at what level. While some people have become acquaintances, there might be a small handful that referred you a few big win cases. Be sure these people make the nice list. Check it twice to make sure you don’t forget anyone!

Shop til you drop. Everyone loves a good pen, but will that get you noticed? Probably not, unless it’s a standout pen. Consider custom items, such as ornaments, that are original and something they probably haven’t received before. In all of your networking efforts this year, did your key contacts mention a special interest? Now is a good time to show you’ve been paying attention. Do they like hockey?

Dark chocolate? Are they working on learning a new language? Do they have dogs? Play into this.

Pop sockets, phone chargers and travel mugs are useful every day. These can be easily ordered in bulk and handed out at conferences, happy hour events and used in swag bags if you have any leftover. If you want to get something a little more special for your key contacts and referrals, consider looking into engraved bottles of wine, duffel bags or office blankets. Going the extra mile will get you noticed and show that you care.

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree. Remember that little ornament or bottle of wine you sent? That could spark a conversation about you and your business at the family holiday dinner or while opening presents. This could potentially mean more business for you. The more people who know about you and what you do, the better.

Presents and presence. Not everything has to be about gift giving. Give your time. Holiday party invites are flying around left and right. This is a great opportunity to go, relax and make some new connections. This is your chance to show you know how to have fun, resulting in an invite to a future event with potential stakeholders.

Resolution solution. The only ball that should be dropping in 2019 is in Times Square. Don’t wait until the new year to start thinking about what’s to come. Also, celebrate what you’ve been doing. What did you do this year that worked well, and what didn’t? Make some tweaks to your plan. Maybe you want to start taking advantage of a new social media platform. Maybe you want to make a greater effort to update your company blog more frequently, or attend more networking events. Are you going to apply to sit on the board of directors for a bar association or charity? Think about industry changes as well. Are new laws or policies coming into effect in the coming year? Get a jump on thought leadership and get a draft going to submit to your local newspaper, breaking down the changes and providing your expertise on the subject.

Remember, you don’t have to break the bank this holiday season. It’s the thought and attention to detail that counts. When holiday shopping, remember, there is always a way to improve your marketing plan and stand out with that personal touch.

Julie Talenfeld is the president of BoardroomPR, an integrated marketing and PR firm based in South Florida. She can be reached at jtalenfeld@boardroompr.com