Tag Archives: Outreach

The First Christmas Card: A Lesson in Effective Outreach

Many of us will send and receive greeting cards this holiday season. Always on the lookout for ways to stay connected to our networks, sending holiday notes is a great way to show you care and deepen personal connections.

In fact, the whole notion of Christmas cards was created as a way to more efficiently connect with others.

In the early 1840’s a low-tech version of texting was all the rage in Victorian England. A new service called the Penny Post allowed anyone to mail a letter anywhere in the country by simply affixing a penny stamp an addressed envelope and people were sending lots of letters.

Like texts, it was considered impolite not to respond.

Social “hobnob” Henry Cole was inundated with personal letters during the holiday season of 1843 and like any high-performing networker; he was purposeful about his outreach planning.

His solution?

He commissioned an artist to sketch out a scene he’d designed in his head, had the picture printed on 1,000 cards, along with the salutation “To:_____”.

Cole’s approach allowed him to:

  • Respond in bulk
  • Maintain a personal connection and as a bonus
  • His message stood out as unique!

And voila the Christmas card was born…

Whatever holidays are on your calendar, follow Henry Cole’s example. A little purposeful planning can go a long way to deepening the personal relationships in your life.

As always, I welcome your comments directly at jeff@jeffkaplan.com.

BTW- Have you been working on your resolutions? See (PART 1 & PART 2) for advice on making 2016 resolutions stick…


Happy Dependence Day!

In the U.S.A. it’s time for hot dogs, fireworks and a long weekend of summer celebration.

While we collectively give thanks for our independence, it’s also a good time to reflect on how much we depend on others for our own success.

Why is it you speak your native language?
It’s very likely because that’s the language spoken by the people around you as a child.

Why do listen to certain kinds of music?
It’s likely that some people influenced what music you like and others (read as your kids) probably influenced what music you don’t like.

We are inexorably linked to those around us…

So what better time than Independence Day to celebrate our interconnected dependence?

Whether you are here in the states, or somewhere else in the world, take a moment this weekend to connect and reconnect.

  1. Connect: Send a short note or make a call to someone that’s helped you along the way and offer your appreciation. Your message will brighten the day of the person you are connecting with and help make a strong relationship even stronger.
  2. Reconnect: Can you think of someone you really care about that you haven’t connected with in a while? Just writing this question spurs a series of names for me (Rachael, Gary, Derek…). Reach out! Let that person know, that even though it’s been a while, he or she is on your mind. There’s no better time like the present to erase the time and distance between you and an old friend. Remember not to celebrate too much, reach out too late in the evening, or make a questionable decision on whom to call or what to say…keep it light, positive and drama free…

Here’s to a productive, profitable and healthy second half of 2015!


Social Networks & Your Network

  1. A new study of social network marketing (think Facebook) illustrates that the larger your network the greater the value generated and the more stable the network…anyone remember MySpace?
  2. In low-intensity networks (like your personal network), effective management can serve as the catalyst for growth…Are you being proactive with your network? Reached out to any long lost contacts lately?
  3. Networking success can be emulated and adapted. If your network isn’t world-class today, it doesn’t have to stay that way… Learn what’s working for others and make it your own!

Reach out with outreach and connect today!