Preparing for a Christmas like no other: Getting your brand’s messaging right

Robyn Poole 7 Dec 2020
4 mins

After what has been a very challenging year, a Christmas break couldn’t come soon enough. However, just because the holidays are near, it doesn’t mean you should be winding down your PR and communication activities.

We asked some of Perth’s best communication experts what brands should keep in mind when communicating during this Christmas period.

Being mindful for a Christmas like no other

Christmas is a time to celebrate, uplift and inspire, but it will mean different things to different people this year. Ensuring your brand or business considers its audiences and messaging will, therefore, be vital.

Cannings Purple’s Head of Digital, Glenn Langridge said that brands should remain sensitive in their messaging this year.

“Brands need to be aware that Christmas can be a really hard time for some people”, Mr Langridge said.

“Being considerate of the audience and your brand messaging is a really important part of communicating during Christmas and into the new year”.

Experienced Health Journalist, Cathy O’Leary said that brands should be transparent and measured in their messaging this Christmas. 

“Unlike other years where it’s perhaps a time to kick up the heels and let down your hair, I don’t think that’s probably appropriate this year, so I think more careful, measured comments from companies would go down well”, Ms O’Leary said.

Keep stakeholders engaged and stay relevant

Your brand or business’ stakeholders – investors, clients and employees – are invested in your company. They are potential advocates and brand ambassadors.

It’s important to keep your stakeholders engaged and involved by building strong relationships through ongoing communication.

Cannings Purple’s Director, Investor Relations, Peter Klinger said that it’s important to stay in touch with stakeholders over the Christmas period.

“Companies need to keep their story out there to remain relevant, and also, to give them a head start for when activity kicks off again”, Mr Klinger said.

Think mobile first

With the majority of your audience likely to be shutting down their work computers over the Christmas break, it’s a great opportunity to look at ensuring your content is mobile-optimised and that your website is also designed for mobile viewing.

Cannings Purple’s Digital Content Officer, Robyn Poole said that it’s vital for brands to think about user experience.

“Mobile traffic has well and truly overtaken desktop traffic, so in order for brands’ digital marketing strategies to continue to succeed – and not just during the Christmas period – mobile optimisation is crucial”, Ms Poole said.

Don’t forget about the socials

Global agency, L&A Social recently ran a social media survey, where they found that sixty percent of Australians said that social media platforms help them feel more connected to their family, friends and community. This resulted in the usage of social media rising by thirty percent over the course of the pandemic.

Robyn said that brands and businesses should be focusing their attention on their social networking channels.

 “Over the course of the pandemic, the average time spent on social media has grown significantly, so this Christmas period will have more users on social media than ever before. This makes it an ideal time to increase engagement – just make sure it’s relevant and authentic”, Ms Poole said.

It’s all about video

To engage your target audience this Christmas period, create as much video content as you can. Video is mobile, measurable, entertaining, and easily sharable.

Western Power Executive Manager of Growth, Peter Kerr said that recently he’s been using video a lot more and has noticed great engagement.

“People really value videos just explaining what’s happening”, Mr Kerr said

Showcase the work your brand has done for the community

The COVID-19 crisis has heightened social inequality, created economic fears, and changed how we live and whom we support.

How brands give back to the community has great influence over their reputation.

If your business or brand doesn’t already have corporate social responsibility built into its DNA, then now is the time.

Cannings Purple’s CEO, Annette Ellis said that brands and businesses should be considering ways they could be giving back this Christmas.

“There’s a great opportunity, particularly this year, for brands to provide more pastoral care”, Ms Ellis said.

Staying true to your brand’s BRAND

During the Christmas period, brands tend to ‘Christmasify’ their logo – sometimes it’s a hat, other times a wreath or bells.

Cannings Purple’s Art Director, Adam Elovalis said that brands need to consider their brand strategy before dressing up their logo.

“One of the first rules of branding is – do not change any part of your logo. Brand recognition is hard enough to earn, so eroding it by making it less recognisable isn’t a smart move”, Mr Elovalis said.

Boost employee engagement

In times of transformation and crisis, internal communication is the glue that holds companies together.

Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) Director, Policy and Advocacy, Rob Carruthers said that brands and businesses’ internal communication should be engaging, especially in the lead-up to Christmas.

“It’s been a really tough year for the workforce, so maintaining communications and connection with your team in the lead up to Christmas is really important”, Mr Carruthers said.


With all that we have been through this year, do not be afraid to celebrate, however doing so in a sensitive and considerate way would benefit your brand.


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Robyn Poole More from author

Robyn is Canning’s Purple’s Senior Digital Consultant, helping clients diversify their content-delivery solutions and developing effective digital marketing strategies that support their objectives.

With a passion for digital storytelling, Robyn helps clients tell their story through the use of video and digital content solutions to drive website engagement.

Robyn’s ability to create exciting and strategic content pieces has allowed her to help clients successfully share their message with broad and niche audiences — engaging audiences, gaining attention and compelling action.

With a double degree in Media and Communications/Screen Arts, as well as experience working in-house and agency side, Robyn has both theoretical knowledge and practical experience in content creation, social media management and videography/photography in the retail, tourism and education sectors.

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