Thinking Of You Week gathers pace with retailers, Autumn Fair, Royal Mail, Stationers’ Company and consumer press
Support is growing by the day for Thinking Of You Week 2022 with Card Factory, Clintons, and Scribbler being among the latest big name retailers joining the roster taking part – and Woman magazine’s coverage will involve indie retailers Lark, Postmark, Stationery Supplies, Papilio At Heritage, and Austin & Co.
Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, House Of Cards, and Co-Op are among the other retailers to have confirmed they are on board for the GCA’s special week, which runs from Monday to Sunday, 19-25 September.
Meanwhile, the Worshipful Company Of Stationers And Newspaper Makers and Autumn Fair are also getting behind it, with a dedicated TOYW area at the four-day show over 3-6 September with all its greeting card exhibitors having been invited to send in up to 10 cards which could feature in the display feature. The TOYW consumer press activity, being spearheaded by PR Direct, is also gaining ground.
“Thanks also to everyone who has sent cards in support of our press campaign following the story in PG Buzz – these are being used as prize bundles in our online competitions with Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan, going live 29 August and running through to the end of TOYW. They’re also helping with our influencer outreach campaign which will go live in early September,” said Sarah Selzer, co-owner of PR Direct.
“We’re thrilled to announce we’re working with bestselling weekly magazine Woman with a full-page promotional feature running during Thinking Of You Week that includes five of the GCA’s independent retailer members.”
And GCA ceo Amanda Fergusson added: “The PR aspects of the campaign underline the emotional connection of sending and receiving cards – and how, if you send a card, you’re more likely to receive one in return! Any promotion of that message around TOYW benefits the whole industry.”
Royal Mail has once again promised to support the event, with its special stamp-cancelling postmark to be used on all mail from 19-23 September – it finishes a day early as post stamped on the Saturday will arrive after TOYW has finished.
The Stationers’ Company is one of London’s historic livery companies, formed in 1403 to look after the publishing industry including printing and design of products such as greeting cards. Based at Stationers’ Hall near St Paul’s, the original building burnt down in the Great Fire Of London in 1666 but the replacement from 1673 is one of the few livery company HQs to have survived the bombs of the two World Wars. The GCA website has articles complied by the Stationers’ archivists on the history of copyright and Christmas cards.
Stationer Christopher Leonard-Morgan said: “I’m delighted to confirm the Stationers’ Company is happy to officially give its support to this year’s TOYW. The basic plan is that we will promote the week and our support of it on the Company’s website, and we will personally email all members encouraging them to ‘send a card and deliver a smile’ ahead of the week.”
Also building support is the GCA’s Schools’ Project where thousands of primary pupils from Ghana and the UK will be writing cards to each other and sending them to their peers in the other country.
Masterminded by Adriana Lovesy, the industry association’s membership and marketing coordinator, special cards have been designed by Lottie Simpson for the UK pupils to send, while AfroTouch’s Georgina Fihosy has designed one for the Ghanaian pupils. Around 7,000 of each card design have just been printed by St Albans-based Graphite Creative on board donated by G.F Smith with the envelopes donated by Enveco, plus 4,000 pens supplied by Ohh Deer have been sent out to Ghana.
Adriana’s connections in the West African republic have already forged links with 56 schools, each with 100 pupils, while 18 UK primary schools have already joined the TOYW initiative in the UK – and the GCA is hoping industry folk will encourage their local schools to join in by downloading and sharing the presentation on the association website, which gives all the information and details on how to register.
The GCA would also like cardies from across the industry to send in news stories and pictures of cards for the gallery on the Thinking of You Week website and take advantage of all the activity planning for this year’s event.
One of the stories already featured is about designer Arrthi Little who has joined the TOYW campaign and created a new greeting card with a design based on connecting, and she has already handed cards out in her local area to an independent Winchester bookstore, Southampton City Art Gallery and they’re in Southampton Library’s six branches too.
Arrthi said: “I wanted to use window frames as a visual representation to show how greeting cards allow us to physically reach out and connect to one another. The colour scheme for the windows is based on the TOYW logo, allowing the frames to really pop using those vivid colours.”
To feature in the gallery please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a jpeg showing the front of the card, your company name, and 20 words describing your brand with a link to your website or a retailer where it can be bought.
For the news page, if you’ve donated cards to a local care home, made changes to your business that have a consumer interest, or any have any other TOYW relevant stories please send photos and some information to email@example.com.