The trend of cashing in culture points on holidays was last discussed during the holiday season, where your Christmas party needed to be about more than just a potluck and a yearly review. Showing people how you operate and have fun – and what fun even looks like to you – is a strong bonding agent that goes a long way in a thriving brand culture.

So, the benefit of having office parties isn’t just so you get a break from the usual humdrum for a couple hours – it’s so you can boast about it to other people. If you’re not convinced this is really what parties are for, consider the backdrop and photo prop epidemic over the years. The only reason something like that even exists is so you can share it. So on this St. Patrick’s Day, we hope you have an office party that you can turn into a fun email marketing (and social media) campaign for your followers, customers, and clients.

Whether it’s a change in the office landscape with some artfully done decorations, or you’re having some sort of a designated time to celebrate, start by first considering what it is you want to achieve. Sure, you want your team to have fun – but what do you want to communicate to your customers. If you’re stuck, start with your industries. Are you retail, food/drink, academia, non-profit, do you cater to a specific industry? There’s a good chance you’ll be able to think of an industry specific event.

If you’re in the addiction recovery business for example, St. Patrick’s Day (associated with alcohol) gets tricky. This doesn’t mean you need to sit it out. This means you adapt the holiday for your industry and create something that shows your empathy towards client culture and toward the needs of their clients. So, in this case you could have a green virgin drink contest. Come up with great names for each drink as part of the contest, take photos (and a bit of video) and share the best recipes in an email marketing campaign. Your campaign then isn’t just about how you’ve honored their values, but you’ve given them something they can pass forward or be inspired by.

If you’re in the retail business, then considering doing something like an editorial shoot. You could hold an office contest for who comes up with the most high-fashion or indie look for St. Patrick’s Day. Throw in some of your products, and get a professional hair/makeup and photographer for the day. Not only is it going to be totally fun, but you’ve created a quality product that weaves in your employees (without showcasing garish photos of them in your product). If you’re a small business, it would be even better to get clients in on this too, even if it’s just a two or three of them that are part of this experience for the day. Share the photos/videos in an email campaign and be sure to link to the purchase items as well.

If you can’t have an in-person event or don’t the time and resources to pry employees away from work, there is another option. You can create a little Patty’s day inspired contest…something like find the Leprechaun, which pulls from a greater pop-culture trend of finding an item in a larger picture. Finding it means you get a 15% discount. There are a lot of ideas for creating online contests centered around email campaigns and we’ll explore that next time!