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Business Cards: Do Titles Matter?

Attorney business card 1895

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Today was my first day at Scout Labs. When I started my first full-time job out of college at Morgan Stanley in 1998, my first day was devoted to paperwork followed by an entire month of training. Today I started with a brief, yet comprehensive overview of Scout Labs and the online brand monitoring landscape from Jennifer Zeszut, ran over to hear Margaret Francis speak on a panel at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, and got up to speed on the systems and technology.

The most painful part of the day? Choosing a title for my business card.  Everything sounds either too narrow to encompass what I actually do or too broad to convey any meaning.  My role involves a variety of responsibilities – this is becoming more common today in a world where nearly every industry is questioning and reshaping its business models.

My solution, to leave the title field blank.

Does a business card require that I define my role? Isn't that my job? A business card provides contact information, and if I can't leave a meeting or conversation without an individual knowing what I do and/or knowing why we should stay in touch, then my business card is likely to end up in the trash anyway. 

What do you think?

Liza Sperling
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  1. November 3, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    The problem with titles on business cards are that, just as with any marketing piece, it really depends on whom the card is being handed to.

    In the Bay Area, I hand out a business card with no title at all. These cards totally fail in NYC. In NYC, I hand out a business card that has President/CEO on it. This card totally fails in the Bay Area.

    But that’s why I’ve actually got two different cards. Depending upon who I’m meeting with, I pull out a different card.

    This also works amazingly well for interviewees (giving them a business card with no title). I’ll leave the reason why as an exercise to the reader.

  2. November 4, 2009 at 7:15 am

    I don’t think they matter. I have a personal card that all I wanted to put on it was my name, my contact info can easily be found online with a simmple search. Ended up with name, email, phone number, & URL. More than enough info.

  3. November 5, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I dont like the business card idea either.

  4. November 17, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    I did give and even like to give out business cards without any credentials to measure my pitch effectiveness. I wrote a long article about it. http://say-web.com/?p=3796

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