News From The Woods.11


By Bob Ketchum

Originally Published August 1, 1997

"There once was a business card."

There once was a business card.

It wasn't an average business card, oh, no.

This card was SPECIAL! It was a clear, plastic card with it's owner's logo for his recording studio business embossed on it. One day the card's owner stopped by a potential client but they had already closed so the owner stuck the clear plastic card in the space between the door and the frame right above the opening where the key is inserted into the lock.

The person unlocking the door, however, failed to notice the transparent business card and when they opened the door the card fell to the ground. It lay there for 4 days until a customer noticed it laying on the sidewalk glinting in the sun. She picked it up and was intrigued with it so she put it into her purse as she stepped inside. She totally forgot about it until it turned up as she was searching for lipstick. She set it out on the lunch counter with other contents from the purse during the search. As she slipped it all back into the purse the card silently fell unseen to the floor.

After closing time, the young employee with the Walkman who was mopping the floor stumbled upon it and picked it up, thinking it was cool and maybe someday he might need the services of the cards owner. He decided to take it home and put it up on his bulletin board in his bedroom. But on his way home the card flew off the dashboard and out the car window where it immediately stuck on the windshield of the car behind him, directly in the line of vision of the driver. But since it was transparent (except for the logo), the driver just kept on driving to his destination. Upon arrival, the driver got out of the car and peeled the plastic card off the windshield to examine it. After chuckling about the episode he casually dropped it into a pocket, where he forgot all about it.

Two months later this same person was attending a wedding for a friend and he was wearing the jacket. When he reached into the pocket for a handkerchief he instead pulled out the business card that he had forgotten about. He recounted the story of the card to the person attending the wedding with him and handed her the card. After commenting on the unusual appearance of the card she started to hand it back but accidently caught the arm of a passing waiter and caused him to spill a tray of drinks on the floor. While cleaning up the spill the waiter saw the card laying in a pool of champagne and picked it up, cleaned it off, and stuck it in his waiters uniform.

Exactly on week later the waiter was passing out drinks at another private party when a guest asked him for a pen. When he checked his pocket to search for a pen, out came the card. He asked the guest to wait just a minute while he retreated to the kitchen to find a pen. As the chef handed him a pen he laid the card down on the counter and hurried back out to the guest with the pen. When the chef placed an order on the counter he spied the card and picked it up. After glancing at it he thoughtfully placed the card in his breast pocket with the intentions of giving it back to the waiter after the party. But he totally forgot about it and took his chef's smock to the cleaners the very next day. The cleaners discovered the card during the pressing operation, as the card left a square indentation in the clothing material. The heat however, did not melt the card, so the employee running the pressing operation removed it from the pocket and pressed the clothing article again to remove the rectangular crease. Impressed with the way the card was impervious to the heat generated from the machine, the employee showed the card to his boss who held it up to the light before placing it back on the counter top.

Later that week the chef returned for his clothing. As the employee gave him his freshly pressed smock he also returned the card. The chef looked puzzled for a moment, but the unusual look of the card jarred his memory and he remembered the incident in the kitchen. Certain that he would never find the card's rightful owner he handed the card back to the cleaner's and instructed them to just throw it away. By this time another customer had entered the establishment and was standing there at the counter taking in the scene. He noticed the unusual card and at the last moment asked to see it. After examining it he realized that the card was for a recording studio, and since he was a musician he asked if he could keep the card.

After leaving the cleaners he went home, picked up the phone, and called the number on the card. After talking to the card's original owner for more than 20 minutes, he made an appointment to do some recording with the studio. The rest, as they say, is history.

Well......... it COULD have happened that way!

The point here is that you NEVER know where your business card is going to show up. It is THE most important day to day public relations tool you have, because you can always carry it on your person. It can be produced on the spot when you meet someone who works within your sphere of influence. It doesn't have to be flashy like the one described in the story above, but good artwork will say lots to a potential customer. Having a business card shows people that you are at least organized and established. Whether you own your own business, have a band, or are just an individual in the music business, it's always a good idea to have a business card.

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