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.

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