Many years ago, I was invited to sit on a board of advisors of a small marketing firm, called M/S Database Marketing. My company worked with them back in the 1990s to develop some of our “cutting edge” marketing. We didn’t realize how cutting edge it was, until Information Week magazine interviewed us in 1994 for an article called, “Who’d Eat a Blue Squash?”
Joining me on this small board (there were two of us outsiders and the two owners), was Carl Terzian. Carl owns an innovative public relations firm (Carl Terzian and Associates) and is about 20 years older than me. But, interestingly, our birthdays are one day apart. (I often ask someone when their birthday is. It’s a great conversation starter.) There was something magical about Carl and even after our stint as advisory board members was over, we kept in touch.
I’m not sure if Carl does this with everyone he meets, but every year on October 23 (my birthday), a hand-written note arrives from Carl. He always asks how I am and tells me what city he is writing from and often tucks in an article about what he is doing. Carl is the master of getting articles written about him and his firm, because his area of specialty is networking. Some call it business match-making. Carl hosts hundreds of networking meetings every year for groups of 15 to 20 business professionals in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The only purpose of these meetings is for people to network and make business connections.
Back to Carl’s annual notes to me. After more than 16 years, Carl has made sure that we have stayed connected.
How many of us would benefit from keeping in touch with those people that we meet? LinkedIn and Plaxo are just two of the social networking sites that make this easy. (In fact, LinkedIn's tagline is "Relationships Matter.") Although I am registered on both these networking sites, I still choose to drop a personal note or card to many of my colleagues and friends. And I do my best to remember their birthdays, too. It’s a great way to really stay connected.
Please share your own tips for staying connected by clicking on "comments" below.