September 28, 2018 • Sarah Schwartz
Thinking of You Week
Most people think of the British Invasion as occurring in the mid-‘60s — but in the stationery realm, the British have again brought something wonderful to America: Thinking of You Week! This upcoming Sept. 24-30 offers a chance for every card retailer to foster meaningful connections through sending and receiving cards via this initiative. The challenge for everyone: Send a card a day for a week.
*While the message may be simple, the design possibilities are endless! Clockwise from top left: Ann Scott Design, Darling Lemon, Emily McDowell Studio, Forest & Waves, gotamago, Sapori, Shades of Expression, and Slightly Stationery.
No matter your role in the industry — card publisher, maker, retailer or a player in an affiliated industry such as paper or printing — the Greeting Card Association (GCA) urges you to get involved and promote this in your community. Taking a cue from the British Greeting Card Association, who has promoted the week since 2013, a free toolkit with materials including informational flyers, customizable posters and even media templates is available for anyone who is interested at thinkingofyouweekusa.com
*There are so many ways to let someone know they are important. These vibrant cards inspire customers to reach out by bringing to mind those they treasure. Left to right: Calypso Cards, Tilia Press, Warren Tales, Pinwheel Print Shop, and Wild Ink Press.
The GCA suggests these ways for publishers and makers to promote Thinking of You week:
- Send flyers with all orders shipped to retailers over the summer. A logo can also be downloaded and integrated into invoices.
- Collaborate with a local retailer and/or select retail clients by providing cards for in-store events.
- Organize an event with a local school, senior home/hospital or other charitable or community organization.
- Publicize the Week via local media, on your website and your social media channels. The UK GCA promotes hashtags like “sendacarddeliverasmile.”
- Send cards from inside your own company, and challenge your employees to do so as well.
- Use cards that might otherwise be written off to support your event.
The GCA proposes these additional steps for retailers:
- Organize an in-store card-writing event, or collaborate with a local business such as a bakery or coffee or floral shop.
- Hold a card-making competition and display the winners.
- Make a Thinking of You display using posters from the toolkit as well as appropriate product.
- Use the banner from the toolkit in social media and email communications.
- Reach out to local media for some press coverage!
- Hold a “buy three cards, get one free” promotion.
- Sell stamps in your shop.
- Set up a card-writing station, complete with books of quotes for inspiration.
Our British counterparts provide plenty of ideas to really make the week memorable. Lynn Tait, a UK publisher, teamed up with a local schoolteacher and her class of 10-year-olds, who each wrote a card to a named person in a senior living center. The seniors were delighted and wrote back to “their” kid, and the effort culminated with the kids going to meet their seniors.
Meanwhile, the UK GCA set up a booth in a busy part of London with donated cards, donated pens and flyers. Ultimately, the week is only as successful as those promoting it — so start planning now!