You may think it’s not ethical to do something “nice” and make money off of it at the same time. But if you had a choice between creating publicity through a nice project and simply creating some publicity, you’d probably choose the nice project every time.

The news is full of media darlings doing anything possible to get a little camera coverage. Instead of yelling and getting drunk or married or divorced in order to get attention, how about doing something nice?

WestJet Airlines created a bit of Christmas cheer with its latest publicity video. The airline asked 100 people on two different flights what they wanted for Christmas as they boarded the plane. Then the WestJet “elves” went into action to buy and wrap the gifts and fliers received them at baggage claim when they landed. The whole video is about six minutes, which is long for an advertisement, but it was more of a “story” than a pitch to buy a ticket on WestJet.

It was a feel-good PR effort that took a lot of money that, as a few Grinches pointed out in the comments, could have been spent on the “real” poor. But it was more than that; tt was fun.

It also related to the audience WestJet wanted to connect with: people who travel.

The Christmas holiday is about gift giving. Although it can become a headache, a hassle and a drain on the pocket book, giving is a high priority in people’s lives this time of year.  Non-profit organizations cash in big time on the “giving” spirit. The bell ringers in front of every major shopping outlet are a prime example. Thousands of volunteers sign up for a few hours of bell-ringing in order to make a difference that will last throughout the whole year.

Create a Christmas and holiday promotion that brings joy and happiness to others.  If you are going to spend time and money on promoting your book anyway, why not deck it with a little holiday cheer and make a difference.