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. banasy©

    @mickey:
    That's exactly what we do...most of the time.
    The hand-made wedding card to virtual strangers made out of a brown paper bag was a big hit.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff Frank ( R - Ohio ) "Right On Target"

    The government can take away wealth. The government can redistribute wealth. But the government cannot create wealth. But job creation, that's a hallmark, even though unemployment is still 9%. 😮

    September 26, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Govt can't create wealth! Tell that to solyndra and haliburton!

      September 26, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mmmmm

    I mean who goes in a hallmark store anyways? their stores are always empty except for some scary polite Wiccan women burning a pouporri cauldron asking may I help you...really, I get the heebie-jeebies everytime I go in there...

    September 26, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Goodwicce

      Your job loss= Hallmark's gain. Boycott Hallmark and all their Chinese made products and cards. BOYCOTT. Pass it on. Thanks.

      September 27, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jesse Baljon

    when i started to read this article i initially thought it was funny. But as i continued on it actually started to make sense. Through the authors use of pathos I began to relate to the article and feel bad for those who lost their jobs, I too wanted to give them a card. The use of sympathetic yet formal diction and many quotes also helped convince the reader to support these new hallmark cards. I do think it is ironic that making cards about those losing their jobs is creating jobs.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      when you give it...please duck...

      September 26, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • OK

      Are there congratulations cards for when people get a job? We've got to help Hallmark make more money.

      September 26, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • GeorgeGray

      Hallmark might try this one: "I'm sorry you lost the opportunity to do somebody else's chores for them, for just as long as these chores remained undone, and for wages they whimsically chose. My deepest sympathy for your tragic loss."

      September 27, 2011 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
    • openminded19

      Do some research. Hallmark is probably making the cards in China.

      September 27, 2011 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. truth

    Bigits

    September 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mmmmm

    sesame seed eater

    September 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Emelia

    I haven't even looked at a Hallmark card since realizing they don't have cards with homicidal stuffed monkeys or metal chickens on the front. (<*not a joke*)

    September 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Johnny

    Maybe uh, the recipients could use the couple of bucks for the card in cash form instead.

    September 27, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Shipmodeller

    Why some of the Hallmark cards are printed in China and shipped here.... geeessshhhhhh Only pay for the Made In USA cards from them

    September 27, 2011 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Anne S.

      I've become disappointed with Hallmark cards. When you care enough to send the very best us no more. They use to have such beautiful cards with such nice sayings. They either have an ugly front with a fairly nice saying inside. Or pretty on the outside, and few words on the inside. Who wants to pay $5 for one of their cards? Not me, so I've come to making my own. I find these sympathy cards their making for unemployed people in poor taste. Bad enough you've lost your job and then get a card to remind you of your misfortune. Must be a bunch of idiots working at Hallmark nowadays. Give us the old style Hallmark card, and at least our money's worth.

      September 27, 2011 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Robert Black

    I going to send a card to the democrats in congress and Obama in 2012 in the form of vote. Hope they are successful in their search for a new job.

    September 27, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. Robert Black

    Going to send a hallmark to Holder that I hope his room mate in the Juarez prison system will be kind to him when the truth about gun gate surfaces.

    September 27, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. GeorgeGray

    Here's a message: "I'm sorry you lost the opportunity to do somebody else's chores for them, for just as long as these chores remained undone, and for wages they whimsically chose. My deepest sympathy for your tragic loss."

    September 27, 2011 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. openminded19

    Hallmark is part of the problem. The sent lots of jobs to China. I'll find USA made cards, thank you. Just say no to Hallmark. Money talks. Take your business elsewhere to let them know you care!

    September 27, 2011 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. Josh

    Someone actually cares! Thank you Hallmark 🙂

    September 27, 2011 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kathy

    I think it's pretty funny that Hallmark produces a card "Sorry for your job loss". Is it signed by Hallmark? Most of their items are MADE IN CHINA. So basically, they found a way to make more profit off of their decision to buy from China. Buy from China = job loss in America. Argggggh! Hallmark – buy only products MADE IN USA and you won't have to produce "Sorry for your Job Loss" cards!

    September 27, 2011 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
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