I have a pile of business cards on my desk which have been thrown in a pot after meeting a variety of people and haven’t been looked at again since. In a world where people have often connected on LinkedIn or Twitter ahead of actually meeting is it necessary to have a card with a list of ways to connect on?
I asked myself this very question about a year ago when Berkeley PR was revamping its staff photography. You may have seen from my avatar we asked everyone to bring a prop in that said something about them outside of work for a photo as well as the standard head and shoulder shots. The results were brilliant and far more interesting than the same tedious shots you see at any company.
We were so happy with the shots we have actually put them onto everyones business cards which have given them a new lease of life. Client love them and always want to get the whole set – whether it is to take the piss or just to learn something about their team.
Journalists always find them hilarious and we have used them to good effect at a variety of conferences and exhibitions to start conversations which often lead to us building better relationships. Journalists rarely forget us after seeing our business cards which stops us from disappearing is a sea of PR pros.
At new business meetings they can break the ice. By handing out the cards at the start of a meeting we have found that we have shown we don’t take ourselves too seriously and this opening exchange usually settles nerves and allows us to get on with talking about what we are good at rather than worrying if we have built a rapport with them.
In short, I still think that there is a place for business cards but not bland or boring ones.