Christmas is a time of giving and a time of celebration.
All over the country civic leaders give messages to their local paper. These help to fill up the pages, so the journalists can spend that bit more time celebrating!
All joking aside, Christmas is a great time to get your message across. I thought it was high time someone took a detailed look at civic Christmas messages.
Hark the civic leader sings
Christmas begins at home
My first Christmas communication is not one you will find in the newspapers.
The Mayor of Worthing’s message is just for his council’s staff. What better message can there be than one that reminds your staff how much you value their work? The real privilege of being a civic leader is that you get to say thank you to people.
So why not thank the people who’ve been making your council tick for the last year?
A message is not just for Christmas
The Mayor of Camden has made his Christmas message part of his message for the year. One focus of Richard Cotton’s year is tackling homelessness and that is especially important at Christmas.
“Imagine what it must be like to be sleeping rough at this time of year just as many people are preparing to celebrate Christmas with their loved ones.”
Stirring stuff. I think if you can tie your Christmas message into your vision for your year you won’t be going too far wrong.
Ahead of the rest
You may well struggle to top Rosemary Doyle the Lord Mayor of Canterbury who got her Christmas message on the back of a bus.
It has to be seen to be believed and you can see it here.
Every year Stagecoach donate the advert to the Lord Mayor of Canterbury’s Christmas Gift Fund. The advert shows the Lord Mayor inviting people to the annual open-air carol service on Christmas Eve. The fund has been going for over 60 years and distributes around 500 gifts to the elderly, the lonely and to those in need.
It demonstrates the spirt of Christmas and the spirt of civic leadership. A worthy cause and an excellent way to raise the profile of the office.
A very social Christmas
Brian Gosling, the Mayor of Peacehaven put out his Christmas message on Twitter. It was simple yet effective.
It clearly worked out for him, it’s been retweeted 7 times gaining thousands of impressions. It might even be more effective than your local newspaper.
21st Century Christmas message
This year the Mayor of North East Lincolnshire has tried something a little different. With the help of the comms department and the civic office, Ron Shepherd has put together a Christmas video message.
You can check it out here.
I’m a massive fan of videos as it helps people to get to know you. But don’t take my word for it, according to HubSpot’s recent report 43% of people want to see more video online. I definitely want to see more video Christmas messages next year.
The non-Christmas message
If you really want to stand out from the crowd you could do a New Year message rather than a Christmas one.
The Mayor of Milton Keynes, David Hopkins, has released a reflective and inspirational message to welcome in the new year.
“Although our challenges are great, each of us has the courage and determination to rise up and meet them for we are all, collectively, Milton Keynes.”
If you hurry you could probably get one out before New Year’s Day!
Thanking the people who keep us safe
Christmas is an important time for the Mayor of Ipswich, Sarah Barber. As a nurse she sees both sides of the festive period. Unsurprisingly, this featured in her message.
“I want to thank my colleagues at Ipswich Hospital and the hospice and all the paid and volunteer carers, the emergency services, the homeless units and anyone else who will be working over Christmas.”
I whole heartedly agree, we must remember the people in our community who work so hard over the festive period and make sacrifices. Go out into your community and remind them what a great job they do.
Just to prove I take my own advice.
Many of you will work extremely hard over the Christmas period. Some of you will have even given up your Christmas day. And I want to thank you for that. My message for 2018 is keep up the good work.
The Mayor of Christmas
I’ve got to close with the Mayor of Bethlehem. After all that’s as close as you’ll get to the Mayor of Christmas.
Anton Salman offered us “a message of hope for a better future and a message of peace, stability, freedom, equality and mutual respect.”
Happy Christmas one and all.