Deliberate Relationship Enhancement 2.0 : Christmas Cards for Generation Y
Growing up I always wondered why my parents put so much effort into the Christmas cards they sent out during the holiday season. The carefully chosen card and picture combo would be sent out to family members and a number of my father’s business contacts. I quickly realized that we got many of these letters from others and it was one of the few times we would see them (in pictures) and hear about how their life was going. It is relationship maintenance, a way for us to keep up with eachother and update our massive cranial archives on the people in our lives. As Tom Peters describes it,
During his days as Goldman Sachs boss, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson had an invariant habit. He would call “60 CEOs in the first week [of the year] to wish them happy New Year.” During my brief White House stint in the mid-seventies, I spent eight or nine straight hours one New Year’s Eve on my office phone. I called close to 100 people I worked with—in agencies all over Washington…I admit that I was purposefully engaging in an ADRE … Act of Deliberate Relationship Enhancement.
As a young professional out on my own, I was recently considering the best way to go about committing a ADRE myself. Many of my contacts are my peers, they don’t expect, or particularly want, a pretty card from me with a picture of me giving them a thumbs up. Why not do this the Millennial way, through my social network? Not only will it not bug them with a card that will quickly end up in a landfill, it allows me to use social networking tools for their very purpose, to ease my communications with my friends, family and associates. Here are a few ways to commit your Act of Deliberate Relationship Enhancement this holiday season by reaching out in digitized, Generation Y style.
Cool Greeting Cards, suggested by the social networking weblog, is a great way to easily send eco-friendly ecards (they have over 150) to your Facebook friends without even having to type their emails. I tried this one and here are my thoughts:
Pros: Quick, Facebook-centric (where most of my contacts are)
Cons: Facebook is not very “business oriented” yet (nor is Cool Greeting Cards), most of my business contacts are not there, the post cards are an Application so it requires the recipient to add a application
Other Facebook Greeting Card Applications Include: My Greeting Cards, Greeting Cards , Diwali Cards, and many more
The popular Linkedin.com business social network does not have the ability to send eCards but, will hopefully be able to soon through their new API. However, you can sign up for Plaxo and, sync your Plaxo and LinkedIn and then send eCards.
Pros: Sent through regular email, no applications to add, more business-centric and professional looking
Cons: More effort, syncing requires contacts to be confirmed in Plaxo
With the loads of electronic greeting card options out there, it’s tough to find one that’s decent and not filled with adverisements. I would reccommend Hallmark, althought the selection is limited, or the free one month trial over at American Greetings.
Pros: Good old email delivery, customizable
Cons: Not integrated with social networks, time-intensive (although not as time intensive as the old fashioned way)
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