At the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Ethics Potpourri last week in Pittsburgh, my friend and fellow presenter, Micah Buchdahl, mentioned what he called “bar-code” business cards. As he explained it, businesses are moving towards these business cards, which include a bar code (for tech-dummies like me), on the back. The code can be read by most smartphones.
There are several benefits of using business cards that include this technology. First, it enables you to include far more information than could otherwise be printed (in legible type, anyway), onto a standard-size business cards. This would be great for social-media users, who may want to include a blog (or two), a website, their Facebook page, and/or their Twitter handle.
Second, by scanning the code with your smartphone, you don’t have to worry about remembering to type the information into your contacts later. All of the information is saved as soon as the code is scanned and you can toss the card–or, even better, give it back, and the person who gave it to you can save it for the next guy.
As usual, Micah is on the cutting edge of what’s new in legal marketing. The ABA Journal has an article by Molly McDonough about a firm in Virginia that will be giving lawyers the option of adding a “Quick Response Code” to their business cards. The article includes links to other pieces on the topic for those who may want to learn more.
Personally, I think it’s a fantastic idea and probably an inevitable step in the right direction. I wonder if you could have just a dozen or so really great cards printed and laminated and reuse those instead of handing out the paper copies. I suppose there are uses for both. To the extent that I can save the trouble of schlepping around business cards–which, by the way, is a far more annoying task for women who wear suits without pockets–I would definitely vote in favor of the paperless (or less paper) option.
[Update: In the original post, I inadvertently omitted a link to the ABA Journal article: Biz Cards Go Digital: Firm Adds QR Codes to Business Cards]