Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Importance of a Good Quality Business Card

I came across this tip to attract business prospects, and this brought me back to about five years back when I was working as a PR consultant, yeah, some sort like an expert in Public Relations to help organisations build and maintain mutually beneficial relationship with the public through the media, and get paid good money to spin it. :)

I was attached to the more dire entity you call a company. Why do I say that? The man we called "boss" wanted to minimize operation costs and did not subscribe to newspapers. The junior associates in that PR firm and when we do have them, the interns, would go to the 24-hour-convenience stores to browse through the newspapers for free. That way, our "boss" can save about less than 10bucks a day, and we are a public relations company dealing with media coverage and news.

For those uninitiated, one of the more mundane jobs of a public relations practitioner (PRP) is to scour the newspapers DAILY including Sat and Sun. Since the office does not subscribe to newspaper (I think we Were the only PR firm without a newspaper subscription), on weekends, forget sleeping in or waking up late, as the "manager", I was responsible to grab the precious copy by either reading them first or buy them if our clients' news or their competitors are featured. Usually I just bought them right away and read later, I do know how to read the sign "Please pay without reading"... and each time I submitted my claim, I got a short lecture on how we should minimize buying the newspapers so there won't be clutter in our inventory, save the trees, etc from that moustached man we called "boss".

Hence it did not come as a surprise when we are given Pre-printed name cards with considerable white space and we were given a RM6 chop (RM6=USD2), and a ink/stamp pad and even the consultant (I was the next in line after the boss) had to chop her own name, position and phone number on that card. Don't get me wrong, the card was made of superior quality but that black stamped bit of details spoiled the image of 1. The bearer of the card, 2. The firm, 3. The owner of the company (that miserly man we call boss) and 4. The entire Malaysian PR industry players.

The man we called boss said the black stamped ink blended in well with the card and no one noticed, but in our first meeting with a big client (French-based), the director pointed out the stamped ink on my card in front of that stingy man I called boss, and hey, who said no one noticed again?

I left the firm in August 2008 and I even turned down a part time consultancy (and managerial) position offered by this man I called boss. No thanks. I have enough money skimping experience to last me a lifetime thanks to him. Oh noticed how I said this man I CALLED boss? I just want to emphasise the past tense. Let it remain a past that taught me the extreme end of cutting costs and to the extent of cutting corners but that is another story.

Below is the screenshot of the tweet which brought back these memories, they seem funny now but back then, my was it frustrating!!!

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