by Josh Smith & r & DATE: Nov. 15, 2005 & r & FROM: J.S. Nicholas, CEO & r & TO: All Tier I & amp; II SANTA CORP Executives & r & RE: Holiday Talking Points
In getting prepared for holiday crunch time again, and given the many changes at Santa Corp over the last year I thought it would be good to lay out a set of talking points for dealing with the press over the next month.
First of all, there has been some criticism about our Healthy Elf Insurance Benefits Package. While tying benefits to how healthy our employees are could be seen as a negative, remember to point out what it really is: an incentive program to reward healthy and productive employees. When production is up and health insurance claims are down, we all benefit: lowered health costs and increased productivity add up to a bigger profit margin. And our employees will receive up to 4 percent matching funds diverted towards their retirement package.
Second, you may be questioned about the layoffs from this last summer. While local elves with hundreds of years of seniority were certainly valuable employees, the bottom line is that being able to outsource our production facilities to China and India has allowed us to add flexibility in delivery options that until now have been impossible. Remember to emphasize that we will be able to bring Christmas into homes more economically than ever before. Larger quantities of Christmas spirit are certainly a hallmark of a new era in Yuletide celebrations.
Don't get sidetracked into dead-end discussions of falling wages here in the Arctic. Point to the growth industry in our fast food arm, Arctic Burger, which offers considerable employment opportunities, as do our new Tasty Reindeer Inc. production plants. These local businesses are sure to provide excellent opportunities for all Arctic residents. Remember: Be positive! While some may complain that there is a downside to our current employment practices, market forces have created the economic landscape in which we operate. We are simply working to provide services to everyone at costs they can afford.
Third point: The most common questions will concern legal actions aimed at protecting our our Christmas trademarks. Intellectual property law is poorly understood by most people, and they may not understand why we have leveled claims against their local malls and photo-marts. But we have a right to protect our trademarked images. We are concentrating on mall Santas as they are the most simple to detect, but other businesses and individuals may be included in the lawsuit as well. For too long, we have been lax in defending our Christmas imagery copyrights, including (but not limited to) those on Santa, mistletoe and reindeer. In these cutthroat economic times, we can no longer allow various entities to profit from our likenesses without paying royalties. It will be important to emphasize that we are not prohibiting the use of our intellectual property but merely working to frame the use of our imagery within a business model that allows malls, photo-marts and the like to partner with us to deliver Christmas spirit and memories to the masses.
We will be announcing an amnesty program whereby all Christmas copyright infringers will be allowed to declare they have divested themselves of all infringing material and then sign a pledge to work within our new framework for Christmas spirit delivery. We have developed a new product line aimed at assuring that participating business partners will be able to deliver plenty of approved Christmas content while reducing the amount of pirated and stolen Christmas works in the marketplace. The simplest course of action when questioned will be to point out that piracy (whether it be a large Christmas pirating production overseas or a single instance of home piracy) dilutes our trademark, creating untenable confusion in the marketplace. There will undoubtedly be a few small mom and pop operations that will become media darlings, but the fact of the matter is that the hand-painted Santa in their store window drives up the cost of Christmas for everyone. The amnesty program should provide a good shield against any claims of corporate bullying and extortion.
If you have any further questions or specific issues, direct them to our PR director, Herman Elf. Let's all have a profitable fourth quarter! Oh, and merry Christmas.