Monday, February 20, 2006

Christmas "E" Cards - Economy or Charity?

Jerry MaGuire is a bible of wisdom for people aspiring to challenge the management practices of today’s world. The phrase “show me the money” is just one element of the infinite wisdom that can be gleaned from the tale of Mr MaGuire and his attempt to change the way that a cut throat industry goes about it’s business.

You might be wondering what this has got to do with Christmas Cards. Well actually I am specifically targeting electronic Christmas Cards sent out my numerous companies to replace the traditional paper ones that use to be sent.

Last Christmas I received a few of these and as I hit the send button to return the gesture I paused to consider the content…. Most of those I received had indicated that they were sending them in place of the traditional cards and the money saved in doing this was to be given to a charity. This is where the punch is:



Did they simply consider the cost of purchasing the traditional Christmas cards against the cost of developing a web based, moving image with sound e-card? (If they did then given the rate that most design houses charge I suspect that the charities didn’t do too well this year!)

Did they calculate the savings they made by not overloading Post Man Pat with hundreds of cards that usually get filed under “b” (for bin) in next to no time at all? If so then they might have missed a trick in the loss of rebate from the post office due to a reduction in the postage bill last year! Ooooops!

Did they calculate the cost of time it takes the staff to personally write a message and sign all of the cards that get sent (not to mention the cost of the CEO’s time as it is usually their signature that appears in the centre of each card!). I am intending to investigate this one as clearly it would show up as an unusually large donation in the accounts of any Charity.

Notwithstanding this I would still like to say SHOW ME THE MONEY. Not one of the e-cards I received indicated how much they gave to their nominated charity. Only one of them actually indicated which charity they were going to give it to. So to all the others (and to any companies I didn’t receive an e-card from) I would simply like to say:


PS I did send an email to a number of colleagues and I can personally assure you that the Diabetic Charity of the UK benefited by £100.

Glenn's Theory No.1 - Email

Mr Bill Gates and his technocrat colleagues, associates and competitors certainly created a rod for every living soles back when they invented email (before the comments come flooding in am aware that our friend (!) Mr Gates nor his Microsoft empire are the inventors of email but I am figuring that the mention of his name might get me a few more hits! – at least I am honest!).

OK so maybe I am setting out to offend in order to get attention (and I am really hoping that as a result of this entry people might start to read this blog!) and I accept that for the most part I am a supporter of email however I am also a concerned onlooker who is becoming increasingly aware that it is a cause of considerable stress, anguish and confusion whilst proclaiming to be quite the opposite!

I have a theory: (amongst many others by the same name) Glenn’s Theory No.1 – A successful day can be measured by measuring the number of emails you have received, the number you have sent and the number you have deleted. That is to say that a successful day is when the number you have deleted exceeds the combined sum of the number you have received and the number you have sent.

The objective of this theory (assuming theories are supposed to have objectives!) is to reduce the number of emails received by everyone.

Assuming the we all aim to have a successful day and my theory is correct then we will be able to eliminate the need to use email and return to methods of communication that are much more civilised such as talking to each other! To go one step further we could actually meet up with each other face to face! Let’s face it, whilst local transport may have got more expensive, long distance travel has got cheaper. (If I am right on this one and you pursue my logic, it might mean that you start to phone the person sitting adjacent to you but fly to see someone 1000 miles away just to say hello! Maybe I’ll consider that for a different blog entry!)