My daughter’s preschool sent home a notice this week that Valentine’s Day is meant to be an adult holiday and the school’s policy is not to participate in the activity of giving and receiving cards. “There is plenty of time to experience the joys and pangs of that crazy little thing called LOVE. Our kids will get to it soon enough.”
I can appreciate that my daughter’s preschool is cautious to the immature emotions of a 3 to 5 year-old, and I have utmost respect for the decision not to cause anguish for the kids and staff. However, I have to argue that Valentine’s Day is so much more than a day about monogamous relationships.
As a card enthusiast, Valentine’s Day is one of the best holidays of the year. The creativity behind each clever caption and well thought out design is truly delightful to behold. I could spend hours perusing the social media pages of card designers – all filled with cheesy puns and inspired illustrations. I could spend additional hours sketching my own designs and adding paper hearts and googly eyes.
I salute any holiday that makes us stop and celebrate relationships, especially when they are regarded with a hand-written note. At the heart (get it) the holiday is not about consumerism and over the top romance. It is simply about reaching out with a simple note of appreciation.
As an expert in professional greeting cards used as relationship building tools, I am well versed in the power of using cards to demonstrate feelings of appreciation. The act of sending a follow-up note after a meeting means you prioritized the exchange enough to spend more time drafting and mailing a card. Remembering to send a card in advance of a birthday, anniversary or special occasion indicates you prioritize your clients. In today’s fast paced, electronic world, we all know the extra time that went in to sending a card.
The Greeting Card Association estimates 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to reach out to family, friends and professional relationships with a sincere sentiment of care.
Meghan Broderick, Investment Advisor at Broderick Wealth Management, is hosting her third annual Valentine’s Day brunch this year. She invites her single, widowed or divorced female clients to join her on February 14. “Since it is an annual event we all enjoy seeing each other and catching-up,” says Broderick, “many of my newly widowed clients are glad to have a group to join.” Broderick also includes a card and gift for each guest at the brunch. Broderick says, “communication methods have changed. It’s not enough just to reach out with a call, although sometimes appropriate, most clients want grander gestures of significance.”
Chase Bank understands connecting with consumers on a more personal, involved level. Fall of 2017 they hosted 20 Chase for Business learning sessions featuring key-note speaker, Mel Robbins, inviting women small business owners to gather within their region. The event sparked conversation, passion and growth, a win for Chase Bank. This initiative is an approach we can all learn from as we set strategy to retain and keep clients.
My approach this Valentine’s Day is to gift staff with a pocket journal from Marie Mae, a company that advocates doing good with your corporate purchases by providing practical business training to women in emerging markets taught by women who have started businesses themselves. My gift will be accompanied with a hand signed and delivered note. The informal atmosphere at my small business allows for kind-hearted jokes that celebrate the individual, our company culture and the day; such as:
- This is an unBULLievable place to work, thanks to you.
- We’re “in to” IT, thanks for all you do.
- You’ve got the number one spot on our card!
It is a tradition the staff has grown to enjoy, or at least play along.
So, in summary, a piece of advice this Valentine’s Day; don’t skip the card! For my daughter’s school, I don’t think anyone will mind that we’re baking cookies for the teachers and including a hand made card.