Friday, June 15, 2012

Greeting Cards and Your Public Relations Program

The Winston School had a problem. It seemed as though they had a large number of potential donors who they weren't keeping in touch with. Many of these donors were of course alumni, but many others were people who had donated to the school from time to time. They had a huge file of names, but they rarely updated it and they felt that the time had come to take charge of the situation.

They decided to call on someone they knew who might be in a position to advise them: a salesman at a full service printing company which happened to be located a block from their new location. They called him and they invited him over to see their new location. He looked at their program and came to the conclusion that the best way for them to move forward would be a greeting card program.

He stated that they should also have a program to send cards to people who move into town, or for when they read about marriages or babies being born and of course when someone gets a promotion. It may require having an employee assigned to read newspapers and keep up with developments such as these, but it would be a good way to introduce themselves to the community and to make inroads wherever possible into new markets.

Customized greeting cards should be looked at as a tool which you can use to help manage your relationship with your customers. In what senses is a greeting card program a tool?

First there's the purpose: A greeting card program is used to achieve varying purposes which promote the sales and marketing message of the enterprise;

Next, there's variability: A greeting card program can be modified or expanded to meet the needs of the moment;

Third, there's reliability: A greeting card program can be used again and again to help achieve the goals of the enterprise;

So clearly it's a tool. Now the question which most often arises is the idea of impersonality: in other words, if a greeting card is sent out which is printed by machine, contains a signature which is printed by a machine, which is stuffed into the envelope by machine or by temporary workers, and the envelope is addressed, sealed and stamped by machine, then why would anyone feel that this is a positive and sincere communication? The answer is this:

In the first place, greeting cards often contain messages or useful information or they are part of a program to educate their people about new programs or products. And customers expect that from organizations;

Secondly, a greeting card, even an entirely manufactured one, sends a symbolic message of openness, appreciation and responsiveness, and customers consider these qualities to be among the most important values for companies they deal with.

The author, who is associated with Conquest Graphics, is a nationally recognized expert on all aspects of printing, print marketing, the internet and social media. Visit for a discussion about using greeting cards to maintain good relations with your public.

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