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Starting a conversation, with Ruder Finn

Business Cards can be a great way to show off your company’s products. But what if the product you’re selling is a little more… esoteric than that? What if you’re selling knowledge, expertise, experience? What if you’re selling a bit of shazam and a lot of pizzazz?

Well, you could go generic – stock photos of grey-suited businessmen striding purposefully towards a breakfast meeting, maybe, or an abstract blue shape with your company name in the bottom right corner. Or, you could get interesting. You could get creative. Like PR company Ruder Finn.

The pictures on the back of the Corporate and Technology team’s business cards are random in a good way. If a member of the Corp / Tech team gives you a business card then you might end up with a picture of a ginger orang-utan, or a Thai fertility shrine, or a cute kid in a 70s jumper, or a kitten. Forget bland stock images – these are business cards with a twist.

“Why didn’t we use generic, corporate images on our business cards?” laughs Becky MacMichael, head of the Corp / Tech team. “We’re not a generic, corporate bunch! Clients buy our experience, our energy, and our personalities, so we thought, why not extend this across our business cards too?”

“When the time came to renew our cards, we knew we wanted MOO cards but decided rather than have a standard picture on the back, we’d come up with a set of categories that gave us free rein as to the images we used.”

Those categories were a favourite place, a pet, a childhood photo, and a funny image, and results include a picture of a mini Stonehenge on a beach, the aforementioned fertility shrine (full of phalluses), and a Test match cricket ticket.

“When it comes to spare time”, Becky says, “Ged loves all things Asian and design-related, Paul is mad about cricket and Mat manages a band. Despite being very different, we have a really strong united team. We wanted the cards to reflect this.”

As well as the ability to create unusual Business Cards, Ruder Finn appreciate the short runs, paper quality and print finish MOO offer.

“We usually go for the ‘green’ cards. They’re less glossy than the others, but it’s good to have the option to be eco-friendly. And MOO’s short runs are really handy if we want some cards designed for a specific event or a particular project.”

At the moment it’s only Ruder Finn’s Corporate and Technology team who are using this style of card, but they’ve been such a hit with colleagues and clients that there are now plans to introduce the cards to other teams within the company. After all, the aim of good PR is to get people talking about a product, so why not start people talking the second you hand over your business card?

“Do our clients like the cards? Definitely!”, says Becky. “At meetings I tend to pull out whichever ones I remembered to stuff in my wallet that morning, and let the client choose which card to take. They’re a good talking point – the client usually asks why the cards are all different, or what the image represents. And they’re a great ice-breaker at networking events. Especially the fertility shrine!”

Read more about the stories behind Ruder Finn’s MOO cards on their blog.

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September 2010


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