As a company, we used to stress over gift-giving, wondering what gifts of appreciation we could give to our allies, friends, and family that would be well received and communicate how much we value them. As with many things, the answer came when we looked inward. Our favorite gifts were almost always things that someone had made for us or grown in their own yards. You know, those ethereal almond cookies from your friend or sewn potholders from Aunty so and so or juicy lychee from your uncle’s yard. So, we followed suit and started giving things that we make or grow. Recently, we’ve given homemade ice cream to our banker and CPA, garden harvests to each other and family members, and homemade marshmallows to friends for Easter.
Homemade and homegrown items are special when received because they’re unique; they cannot be reproduced by anyone else; they take time, effort and consideration to make or grow; and they come from the heart. In most cases, they’re also extremely economical, which is a plus in today’s economy. The benefits of giving homemade and homegrown are endless. (Please note that here on Kauai, homemade food items cannot be brought to public schools and served to children unless they are made in a certified kitchen.)
Gift giving is a direct extension of public relations because it communicates a multitude of positive feelings such as thanks, compassion, empathy, celebration, reciprocity, support and so on. The actual gift and its significance to the recipient convey to this individual how much the giver values their relationship.
Next time you need to show some appreciation for someone, whether a contractor, friend, vendor, family member, customer, or employee, try giving them something that you’ve made or grown with your own hands. Rare fruit, organic greens, mango bread, salad dressing, tropical flowers, handmade crafts, whatever. Put it in a lovely vessel and include a handwritten, heartfelt note. We guarantee it will be received with smiles and thanks.