Today’s post comes from my friend Christina Khoury, or as I more commonly call her @stina6001, who is one of the many talented PR-bloggers over at the PR Breakfast Club who’s weekly Coffee Talk is one of the more insightful pieces out there for all those aspiring flacks out there. Christina was kind enough to help me with a post as I wrap up the wedding festivities, so, without further babble here are her top tips for a corporate holiday party:
Tis the season for office holiday parties filled with delicious food and if you’re lucky a never ending open bar. It’s a chance to mingle and relax with co-workers outside the 9-5. As communications professionals, this is what we do best. We mingle and we network. We’re charming. Most of us remember the essentials: wear deodorant, don’t talk with your mouth full, remember names, give a firm handshake etc. But just for fun I thought I’d share some do’s and don’ts that I think should be added as essentials. Happy Holidays!
- Wear the tacky holiday sweater that Grandma bought you last Christmas or the Sexy Santa’s Helper costume you bought for Halloween. There’s a time and place for everything…well maybe not everything.
- Take advantage of open bar. If you’ve drank to the point where you can’t walk straight, see straight, or follow
number three you’re probably too drunk and should be on your way home in a cab (don’t drink and drive!).
- Flirt with the boss, boss’s spouse, co-worker, people who report to you or anyone else in that chain for that matter. Flirting, especially after a few drinks, can lead to sexual innuendos which may get you smacked with a sexual harassment case or smacked in the supply closet with anyone listed above.
- Forget that you’re attending an office party not a bar filled with strangers on Friday night. It’s important to keep Loose Lips Lucy at bay and refrain from gossiping about your boss’s new toupee or co-workers ugly fashion sense.
- Dress sharp, professional, relaxed and fun. If this is your first holiday party, ask your coworkers about the proper dress code. Note: ask someone you trust and isn’t out to make you foolish.
- Drink but don’t feel forced to. If you choose to drink just remember to pace yourself. Drink water in between your vodka gimlets and eat the free food. If you feel you’ve reached your limit but don’t want it to look like you had to cut yourself off, ask for seltzer water with a lime. Tell everyone it’s a vodka tonic.
- Make conversation. I’m going to make a grand statement and say most communication professionals are flirts. But we know when we cross boundaries. For office parties aim to get to know people and not get in their pants. Avoid lots of physical contact and maintain a good distance when dancing. If you dare to dance of course.
- Be professional.
There are definitely more do’s and don’ts then the ones listed above. I’m sure some of us even have great stories from past holiday parties. Feel free to add to your very own essentials and stories below!
About Christina (from PRBC) – Christina Khoury is a conference coordinator/associate publicist at Planned Television Arts (a division of Ruder Finn). Not your typical “Strong Island” girl, Christina’s childhood dream was to be a choreographer. Or a detective. (We all agree that she’s a better detective than choreographer now….) Since she realized she wasn’t going to be the next Paula Abdul (or Olivia Benson, for that matter), Christina majored in Public Relations at Quinnipiac University, where she was an active member (and an officer!) of PRSSA. A die hard Mets fan (even if they stink) of Dominican/Italian/Lebanese decent, Christina’s feisty personality and excellent PR and organizational skills make her an excellent client representative and uber-awesome producer of Morning Drive Radio Tours. Don’t be surprised when she randomly starts spurting Spanish – we may not understand what she’s saying, but rest assured it’s always intelligent and thought-provoking. (At least that’s what we’ve been told!) Oh, and Christina’s already had her 15 minutes – she kissed Ricky Martin on TRL – and has the video to prove it!