The Ultimate Gift: Materialistic or Experiential?

When it comes to giving a gift what comes to mind? We usually start thinking about what does the receiver like, what interests have they mentioned recently, what wouldn’t they want….there’s a massive list of questions that come to mind, and because we’re overwhelmed by our lack of answers to these questions we usually end up buying something useless or safe, like a pair of socks or a nice soap. I mean don’t get me wrong these gifts I’m sure would come in handy at some point, even if they get added to the re-gifting pile.

So then what would make an AMAZING gift? Well recently I’ve realised that a gift experience can have so much more meaning rather than just giving or receiving a material thing. I bet you’re thinking: but this will require even more thought and attention right? Well yes, but I’ve got some ideas for you…keep reading….

For my birthday this year my friends treated me to a trip to the Hashtag Meow Cat Cafe followed by dinner at Carmine and Co. This was such a sweet gift because it incoporated my love for cats and zeppole, plus I was able to share the experience with my friends.

Other gift experiences could include pampering vouchers, most people love a good massage, mani, pedi or facial. Taking someone special out for a picnic or to a restaurant. For those of you in Adelaide (or those visiting Adelaide) Mount Lofty House are offering some amazing experiences, see below:

·       Indulge in lunch or dinner at the award-winning, acclaimed Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant complete with a private, Sommelier-led tasting in the heritage cellars
·       A rose petal strewn cellar tour, candle-lit (proposal or anniversary dinner at HVR – with a view, see below)
·       Signature couples’ spa rituals in Stable Day Spa
·       Chocolates and Mount Lofty House sparkling on the balcony overlooking the Piccadilly Valley
·       All-inclusive picnic, set up in front of one of the roaring log fires inside Mount Lofty House
·       Gourmet picnic hampers designed to be shared in the botanic gardens directly below Mount Lofty House
·       Pick estate grown flowers throughout the sprawling gardens developed by South Australian icon Arthur Hardy to enjoy back in a private suite
·       Arrive at Mount Lofty House by helicopter, enjoy lunch or dinner at HVR and stay a night or two before departing in style with a vintage car
·       Taste the Adelaide Hills’ wine delights with a helicopter tour from the estate to prestigious wineries such as Shaw & Smith and Hahndorf Hill with a vintage car pickup to return to the mansion.

So now that you’re equipped with plenty of ideas for your next gifting occasion, I’m sure you’re going to be loved just that little bit more, if one of these experiences is being gifted (and it didn’t even have to take much thought on your end!). Happy gifting.

mt

Cathy McHugh: Gray Management Group

How long have you been in pr and when/why did you start Grays Management?

I have been in PR pretty much my whole working life in some capacity.

I’ve had at Grays Management for 13 years.

I remember when I was at high school and we had a questionnaire go around to determine what type of job you would suit.  I ticked off all of the things I liked, was good at and enjoyed and low and behold – my best suited job was PR.  The only catch was I didn’t want to go to Uni – I wasn’t a great student so I went straight into the workforce.  And fortunately for me I fell into opportunities and jobs in the media that led me to Grays – so I think to be honest I have always been destined for this type of work.  I just didn’t go about it the more traditional way.

I started Grays after having my first child – and it was all by accident to be honest.  My first job was working on McLeod’s Daughters as publicist which I did for around 7 years.  And during that time there were a lot of other opportunities in the market.

What keeps you motivated in the PR industry?

My motivation is determined by lots of different things at times.  The market is hugely different to what it was a few years ago even, so we are always changing.  Being smaller means being adaptable and responsive to the market and opportunities.

I really love who I work with.  Being older and somewhat wiser, I have made the conscious choice to work like an absolute dog for people or businesses that I believe in and genuinely want to see them succeed.  It’s a 24hour job at times and there is also a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to see a result – so you have got to genuinely love it.

What did your 20 year old self dream of doing in the future?  

The one thing I am disappointed with my 20 year old self was that I didn’t really have a dream.  I didn’t really pin point an idea, a thought and I didn’t have any concrete ambitions – not even to buy a car.  My life was one day at a time, leading into fun and adventure. However, I had a really good work ethic, I learnt on the job that I loved to work hard and I was good at what I was doing.  I also worked with a lady; Nicola Mills who really changed the way I worked and the way I thought about myself in business.  She was probably the first ‘business woman I had met.  She was ambitious, strong, worked hard in a “mans world” and was incredibly supportive and motivating.  She was really the one point in time that I stopped and thought – I could do this …

What is the most exciting experience/opportunity that has come your way within your business?

Running a business is probably the most exciting experience to be honest.  There have been a lot of changes and challenges.  Managing your personal life and children with a job that requires a lot of effort and commitment is a challenge also.  Although I think this is the first time I’ve found that balancing point and can genuinely say that the balance is working and I’m really energised by our clients and the opportunities we create with them.  Granted we’ve had some incredible jobs – working on a Bollywood Movie, Presenting and speaking in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore, meeting and knowing some incredible people and being able to weave in and out of our work lives at different points to work together again.

Best piece of advice for anyone wanting to get into public relations?

We have a lot of interns and work experience people come through our business.   Mostly because I like to genuinely give people an opportunity to really see what it’s like.  The perception of what PR is and the reality is often times very different.  PR is not as easy as giving away food, or ticking a box for a client with bloggers, or getting a piece in the paper – and anyone who wants to do that will have a short lifespan.  Because at the end of the day you need to provide results for your clients, be cost effective and show a return on investment.  So I think the one piece of advice would be – don’t put too much value on the input, don’t make yourself so busy and with so many pieces of paper that you are busy being busy – it’s the output that counts and it has to give a return to your client.  Turn your way of thinking on PR upside down and work backwards….

Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner

I recently received a special little package from Benefit Cosmetics…..

Inside was the Benefit They’re Real Mascara and the all new They’re Real Gel Liner Pen….along with some cute little jewels

I was so excited….I had seen all the posts and all the positive comments about this brand new product by Benefit, on social media. It’s an amazing invention and is going to make my life so much easier when it comes to getting the perfect eye liner line!

I couldn’t wait to try it out, after practicing on my hand… I went for the eyes. It was so easy, the gel just glided  and the shape of the tip is perfect for getting a precise line around the eye and creating a wing.

Here’s the final look….what do you think?

Benefit’s They’re Real Push-up Liner is available in stores now….get your hands on it as soon as you can!!!