4 Tips for Writing a Solid CEO Holiday Message

The holidays are not only a time to reflect on the past year, they are a time to spread joy and foster connection with your employees. So how do you craft a holiday message that employees will actually want to read and touch their hearts? Here are a few tips (assuming that you are ghostwriting for the CEO):

Capture the Leader’s Voice

Employees can smell a generic holiday greeting from a mile away.

While it may not seem like a big deal, Leaders editing the letter and putting it in their voice, or making time for a quick interview with your Executive Communications Specialist, will help make it sound like them—and employees will recognize and appreciate that.

Even 15 minutes of the Leader’s time will give the writer a feel for the Leader’s voice i.e. phrases or words they often use, and the tone in which they normally speak.

Get Personal

A lot has happened in 2020.  Acknowledging our shared experiences, and meeting employees where they are emotionally, will go a long way to making your leader relatable.  In addition, have the CEO share a personal anecdote, a holiday memory or tradition, or a personal goal for the upcoming year. Give employees a glimpse into their world while uplifting their spirits, providing hope, and thanking them for their contributions to the company’s success.

Keep It Short-N-Sweet

The iconic CoCo Chanel advised to look in the mirror and remove one accessory before walking out the door. The same rule applies to the holiday message.

Don’t be too verbose. Again, it’s the holiday message—not the annual report. While it’s fine to highlight company successes and goals for the coming year, keep it brief and remember that the goal is to focus on employee appreciation and the season.

Read over your final draft and make any necessary cuts/edits prior to sending.

Mail it to the Home

We already get too many emails.  Sending the holiday message via email just adds to the list of unread items sitting in our inbox.  Of course, it’s from the CEO, so people will read it, but that doesn’t make it special.

Aren’t you excited when you get a card or letter in the mail?  Snail mail has become so rare that it’s special and often a welcomed surprise.  Mailing the letter to the home in a festive envelope is a great way to capture your employees’ attention, spark a little joy, and ensure the memo is read.

If you did a good job writing it, you might even end up on the fridge!

Need help with Executive Communications?  Contact Cardigan today! 


Cardigan is an employer branding and internal communication consultancy that helps companies get the most from their people and culture.