4.01.2010

Business Cards for PR/Social Media Students: Is Social Media the New Email Address?

PR and social media students: you need to have a business card.

Whether you are a freshman in college, not sure about what you want to do, or, are about to graduate and currently looking for a job - business cards are essential. They help you establish yourself and your personal brand.

Business cards allow you to
  • Share your contact information: a business card allows you to put all of your contact information in one place, making it easy for people to get in touch with you
  • Look professional: you certainly do not want to be the student at the networking event who is continually asking for a pen and paper to jot down your e-mail address. Not only does this look unprofessional, but the napkin or scrap paper is likely to later get thrown away
  • Network: having a business card to share, means you are likely to receive business cards in return, which creates opportunities to further conversation with professionals
So, what kind of information should PR students put on their business cards? When I started college, I was told all I needed was my name, my area of study, and my e-mail address or phone number. In just the few years that have passed, I think this has changed greatly. Of course, those items are the essentials, but for PR students, I think we need to go above and beyond. Ultimately, what goes on your business card is up to you. It can also vary depending on the specific field you are interested in.

For PR students, a few things may help you stand out. For starters, put your Twitter handle on your business card.

According to a blog post on The Next Web about using your Twitter handle on your business cards, putting your Twitter handle on your business card not only shows that you have knowledge of social media, and that you are emerged with the technology, but also allows you another way to get in contact with the people you exchange cards with.
My email inbox is overflowing with email. A lot of it comes from people I know but the largest part is from people and companies that I have never met. Every email goes straight into my inbox where it becomes my responsibility.

Now imagine if I would only give out my Twitter name. Someone would get my card and would like to tell me something. He or she would send our a public tweet starting with “@username”. If I would choose to talk to that person I could start following him or her and we could exchange a few direct messages. Once we are done I would unfollow that person again.

Communication would be a bit more like meeting people in real life. At a conference people approach me, in public, and ask me a question. Then, if we want to continue talking, we make an appointment to talk in private
Some people argue, that eventually, all you will need to put on your business card is your Twitter handle. I'm not too sure of this considering many people still have not discovered this website, especially small companies, so let's think of a few more items that might be beneficial to put on your card.
  • If you have a job or internship, you may want to list your company name on your card, so people remember what field you are in.
  • If you do not have a job or internship, consider listing your school name and major, or perhaps your area of interest.  
  • If you are a leader in a student organization, like PRSSA, consider putting this on your card as well
  • Along with your Twitter handle, of course put your name, phone number, and e-mail address (you want to make it easy for people to get in touch with you).
  • If you have a blog or a LinkedIn profile, consider putting that information on as well.
After attending a student conference several weeks ago, I saw quite a variety of business cards. Some students put miniature versions of their resume on the backs of their cards, some put a blank line for the card recipient to take notes in, and some event put a photo. I leave these decisions up to you.

Whatever you decide to put on your card, having one is important. Make one as soon as you can and carry a few on you at all times - you never know when you might meet that future employer!

Here are just two examples. The first is very basic, pretty professional looking. The second is more specialized towards a certain field. As mentioned before, it's not so much the design or color of your business card, but more about showcasing what you know - by including your social media involvement or PR experience.



A few places on the web to get business cards..
VistaPrint
BizCard
123Print
Zazzle

14 comments:

  1. This post is very helpful! I find it extremely interesting how information on business cards has changed in the last couple years. Just like the social media press release, it is important to add social media aspects to your business card. Now your twitter handle,LinkedIn profile, and blog are great ways to show your future employers who you are. Thank you for providing your readers with the essentials to add to these cards.After reading this post I am definitely clicking on one of those card links and making my new and improved business card!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I cant decide whether I agree or disagree with this. On the one hand, it would be convenient, professional, and probably give students a leg up on the competition. But I can see how some people would think that a student with a business card might be a little silly. some people still haven’t adapted to the new social media way of life, which includes not only jotting down a phone number or email address, but also sharing a twitter handle, facebook name, blogger url , etc. I like the examples you posted, and think theyre a great start to something that will probably catch on amoung students. Great post!

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  3. Great post! Business cards are clearly a way to help students share their contact information with prospective employers. I have never thought of creating my own business cards in my job or internship searches but it is definitely something I plan to consider. It is also a great point to include additional information such as Twitter handle, LinkedIn info, and blog address.

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  9. Here are just two examples. The first is very basic, pretty professional looking. The second is more specialized towards a certain field.

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