Lawyers, Christmas cards, and social media

It’s that time of year again. That’s right–time for the obligatory firm Christmas cards. As lawyers have become more tech-savvy, I’ve noticed an interesting (and alarming) trend: the “digital” Christmas card.

I understand the allure. E-cards are much easier to send. You can reach a larger audience without any additional work. For the purpose of being politically correct, they actually are more environmentally friendly. And there is always the option of “we are donating $X.XX to [insert charity of your choice] instead of paying for postage and a physical card.”

Each of those points is noted–and should be disregarded. But that isn’t to say that you can’t use social media in your holiday card plans.

First, you should send actual, physical cards to all of your contacts.

Second, you should invite your social media contacts to send you their mailing addresses and then send them a card too. You can leverage (I promised myself I would never use the word “leverage” in my posts but it seems to fit here) your significant social media contact base by making “real world” connections with an actual card.

Third, while it will take quite a while and it is sure to make one (or, if you’re ambidextrous, both) of your hands hurt, you should certainly consider writing a personal note in the cards you send. Some of you will have hundreds of cards. But nothing will mean more than a quick note letting the recipient know you didn’t flip through a sizable stack of cards prepared by your secretary. If a particular person is not worth a few words and well wishes, should you really be sending them a card?

Social media isn’t an option when it comes to sending Christmas cards. But it does give you an opportunity to strengthen the relationships you have formed through social media channels. Keep that in mind as you put together your address list this year. Your current contacts and your new friends and followers will appreciate hearing from you via a medium other than a monitor. And if you want a card from me, just send me your address. The offer is good while supplies last!