Hallmark is sorry for your loss - your job loss
September 26th, 2011
05:41 PM ET

Hallmark is sorry for your loss - your job loss

Getting laid off from a job has always been synonymous with the delivery of a pink slip, but thanks to Hallmark, the experience might also become associated with receiving another piece of paper in the mail.

With unemployment sitting at 9%, the ongoing layoffs across the country have persuaded the greeting card giant to begin rolling out a line of sympathy cards with words of encouragement for people who have lost their jobs in the tough economy.

The development of cards that deal with the various hardships of the times is nothing new to Hallmark. The company also produced cards aimed at individuals who struggled through events such as the Great Depression, the military draft, and losing loved ones on September 11, 2001.

“People in times of need will always need to connect and when the consumers have asked us for a way to connect in those difficult situations, we try to respond in an authentic way and we think that what the greeting card does is offer a bridge,” Hallmark’s creative director Derek McCracken told NPR’s All Things Considered.

Those that work with the unemployed say they don’t think it’s a bad idea. “Getting a card like that and somebody caring is fabulous,” Michelle Crowthers-Lunczynski of Work One in Franklin, Ind. told CNN affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The crazy part to think about this is there's so many people laid off. At least someone's caring enough to you know, get a card and say, 'I'm thinking of you.'”

According to McCracken, the idea to produce cards that lift the spirits of the recently unemployed came from the company’s own customers, who were asking for a card addressing a topic that hits close to home for so many people.

“They sent us letters. They phoned it in. They asked their retailers, you know, in their neighborhood, where do I find a card that said this?” he said. “Loss of job, like any loss, is a grieving process. And so we have to acknowledge as soon as possible what had happened and then try to support them. So that's where we kind of offer more cards on the, you'll get through this, versus dwelling on the loss of the job itself.”

The job-loss sympathy cards are not currently available at all of the company’s 40,000 locations nationwide, but Hallmark’s website lists several of the 5×7 cards on-sale for $3.49 each.

E-card companies have also latched on to the idea, but American Greetings, a main competitor of Hallmark’s in the world of paper and electronic cards, has yet to produce any layoff-specific products. Spokesman Frank Cirillo says that the idea is something that American Greetings might look at in the future, but it hasn’t seen a demand for the cards because the company focuses on personalized products that are open-ended and conversational enough for consumers to add in their own more specific messages.

Hallmark’s cards range widely in tone: Some of them contain messages that are more on the sentimental side and offer inspirational advice, while many are lighthearted and even make light of the recipient’s situation. One card reads: “Don’t think of it as losing your job. Think of it as a time-out between stupid bosses.” Another says: “Don’t worry, you’ll get through this. Look at me! Okay, maybe don’t.”

“The ones that offer more moral support, but maybe with a little humorous twist in a more encouraging fashion are doing very well and we're publishing more of those,” McCracken said.

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Filed under: Economy • Jobs
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. raven

    I dunno WHO told Hallmark there was a call for these cards. I havent seen ONE post here indicating ANYONE thinks theyre a good idea . Maybe they could shred the rest of em and market em as firestarter.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      anyone who pays for cards is a putz anyway. They are easy to make, and more personal. Why give evil companies more money.

      September 26, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. s kel

    Hey I heard hallmark is moving a lot of its business overseas. Cheaper labor to write these BS cards to send to Americans who are now unemployed.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. raven

    Or sell em to a pulp mill to be made into ass wipe.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. s kel

    Burn Hallmark HQ down. Screw them.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Roy Rogers

    Oh great. Trust Hallmark to always give the very best! 🙁

    September 26, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank ( R - Ohio )

    @ Nancy. My humble appology to you and your husband. Hope he can find work again. I've been there, and yes, it's really no joking matter, and it's a confusing mess to be in. @ banasy. They should have the flip side card...We're so sorry your aquisition didn't through. He he! 😀

    September 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      I understand there was no offense intended, and none was taken. And thank you for your good wishes... frankly, they mean more than one of those overly priced cards would, that's for sure! I have confidence in my hubby's skills and ability – and he has several irons in the fire, so to speak.

      I merely wanted to point out that no one is indispensable; any of us could find ourselves in a similar situation at the drop of a hat, especially in today's shaky climate. I hope that you continue to be employed as long as you wish and that you don't have to go through this "mess" yourself again soon!

      September 26, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. s kel

    J mo you better send several to those republicans in congress also that dont care if people work.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. s kel

    J mo you better send some of those cards to republican congress.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. raven

    At Christmas maybe theyll come out with a commercial: Homeless guy pushing his supermarket basket full of his possessions to the dipsty dumpster. Garbage truck-driver tosses him a Hallmark card and they both smile.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mmmmm

    Sorry for your loss???? Hallmark, I believe those guys who go shotgun postal already has dibbs on that...

    September 26, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. lex

    Perhaps Obama's billion dolalr reelection campaign should buy these cards to stimualte the economy and make people fee better.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    I stopped caring what Hallmark thinks when they began making up holidays to sell more cards.

    Although I adore their 'Shoebox' line...

    September 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. raven

    I know,right my sista? Saw one once that was like a sympathy card for parents whos kids were startin pre-school. By the time my second one was old enough I couldnt WAIT for him to start.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. harry

    Thank the Rebumlickens for a screwed up economy!

    September 26, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    @raven:
    By my third kid, I was sending sympathy cards to the schools. Being proactive and all.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
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