Tips on writing a card to a friend or family member suffering with mental health issues

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Creating a Moment of Intervention. . .

Want to send a card? Not sure what to say? You’re not alone.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell which of our well-meaning comments will be helpful and which may actually hurt more than they help.  Below are some guidelines from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance for letting someone know you’re there if they are suffering from a mental health disorder. 

Put the statements into your own words, the most important thing is that your friend or loved one knows you’re there, and that they have your support.

WHAT HELPS WHAT HURTS
I know you have a real illness and that’s what causes these thoughts and feelings. It’s all in your head.
I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help. We all go through times like this.
You are important to me. Your life is important to me. You have so much to live for – why do you want to die?
Tell me what I can do now to help you. What do you want me to do?
I can’t do anything about your situation.
You might not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change. Just snap out of it.
Look on the bright side.
You are not alone in this. I’m here for you. You’ll be fine. Stop worrying.
Talk to me. I’m listening. Here’s my advice…
I am here for you. We will get through this together. What’s wrong with you?
Shouldn’t you be better by now?

 Source: http://www.campusmindworks.org

Instagram intro GJW x thortful + Chasing the stigma

Gary James McQueen (nephew of the late Alexander McQueen) has collaborated with thortful to design an exclusive range of cards especially for sending to friends and family suffering with mental health issues, with the aim of bringing the subject to the forefront. All proceeds from sales of these cards will be donated to Chasing the Stigma, a charity bringing people together for a better understanding of mental health.

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How to get a press feature for your cards

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If you’re a creative type then you’ll know the power that comes with having people notice your work. Press features are a great way to get your designs in front of customers who are pre-disposed to like them and be keen to buy, as well as making your brand look great and spreading the word about your thortful designs! Here we’ve asked our resident PR expert Louise Rowlands to come up with her top tips on securing some coverage:

Choose wisely

Identify which local press titles would suit your card designs. Who is your target market? What do they read? How are your cards perfect for them? Once you’ve worked this out, find out who you need to be speaking to and put your designs in front of the right people! Who writes/sources stories or features at your key titles? It’s likely to be a reporter if it’s a news story or an editorial or features assistant if it’s a product feature. Do your research and find out what they’re looking for, and how you can connect with this. Work out where you’re most likely to get a feature too (as a story, or a product feature in the ‘shopping’ pages?) and how you can target your cards towards this.

How are your cards current?

How does your card design (or range) relate to the current zeitgeist? Is it for an upcoming occasion? Does it tap into what is on-trend? Journalists want to write about things which are relevant for their audience!

What’s your angle?

The first thing to ask yourself is what makes your design(s) (or you!) stand out, what makes it/them different from all of the other cards out there? Journalists are looking for a hook, so not just a product but a story behind it too. What inspired your design(s)? How have you made your brand unique or successful, how have you changed your own life or that of others? Being a creative person with some good card designs is simply not enough of an angle to be feature-worthy!

Have a presence

Having a thortful profile is not enough – you need to be easy to find across social media, and ideally have a website where you express some personality, and make your brand 3D. Journalists want to be able to search for you and find a real, authentic person or brand! Make sure you have your ‘story’ or USP featured somewhere, and incorporate a basic reference in your bio line if possible. This will not only ensure that your brand has a clear message, but also help to pique people’s interest when they read about you on your profile or the back of your cards!

Twitter is key

Twitter is a great tool for this task! Find out what journo’s are after by searching #journorequest, follow key journalists and publications you’re interested in and engage with them where appropriate to build a relationship. If you see an opportunity, tweet them!

Pitching to the journalist

Before you call or email a journalist it’s a great idea to create a 200 word pitch. Journalists are very busy and don’t have much time so make your title attention grabbing, then breakdown the story and angle for the journalist, and always finish an email with clear contact details. Journalists hate big picture files cluttering up their inboxes too, so it’s a good idea to include any cards or designs in a Dropbox link.

If it’s a struggle to get your cards featured directly, think about other options too: why not try offering a couple of your designs for photoshoot props – even if it’s only in the background you can still get a credit and/or link to your profile. And if you’re lucky enough to get a press feature? Make sure to let us know too, so that we can share where possible.

Louise Rowlands is an independent PR consultant: expert on all things PR, Social and Marketing. Find her on Twitter @Loulou300

How We Protect Our Creators’ Work

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Copyright and copyright theft is something that thortful takes very seriously! We know how hard you work to come up with those fabulous designs, so we want to help you make sure they’re in safe hands and aren’t liable to being downloaded, copied or ripped off 🙂 Here we run you through all the ways in which we strive to protect your work!

All of the images you upload are stored in their original format in a secure location. (It’s top secret – we cant even mention it here!) We then create five – yes, five! – different versions of the original design at a lower resolution and higher compression level, to be displayed in our mobile apps and on our website. Of course, the resolution used will depend on the device & screen resolution: the image used for an iPhone 4 is a much lower resolution than the image needed for an iPhone 6, but the main thing is that these images are not of a high enough quality to be printed at card-size.

The only time the original high-res image which you upload is used, is over the secure connection to our printers, when a card is ordered.

We have also made sure to disable the ability to right click on an image and save it, to prevent those sneaky people with ulterior motives from copying creators’ designs!

Our technical team are currently working to further reduce the quality of the image that we display on our website and apps too: our aim is to ensure the customer buying the card is satisfied with the quality of the image used (so that they’re still keen to buy your card!), but still restrict the ability of someone to copy a high quality image. The good news is that as it currently stands any image would be pixelated if printed directly off the website 🙂

Here at thortful we like to go the extra mile too, so we are also looking to implement a service called Tineye, which is a piece of software that checks all cards uploaded to our platform and informs us if these cards are displayed anywhere else on the internet. This service carries out a search on the web to see if any of our cards are being marketed and sold anywhere else, and therefore ensures that we do not sell work that belongs to someone other than the creator who uploaded it.

Hopefully you’re satisfied with the measures we’ve taken to ensure your designs are protected, but we’re always open to suggestions on how we can improve. Send us your feedback to team@thortful.com and we’ll do our best to make thortful a safe and secure space for you and your work!

thortful Greetings For Wedding Season

We know that thinking of something special and heartfelt to write in a wedding card is often a difficult task, especially when you want it to reflect your particular relationship with the person who will be receiving it. As wedding season is in full flow, we’ve sourced some really great one-line-wishes to get you started: so you can write the perfect thoughtful message in your perfect thortful card!

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FUNNY WISHES

  • “Thanks for the free booze! Best wishes on a long, happy marriage!”
  • “I predict cute babies.”
  • “You two make this ‘love and marriage’ thing almost seem worth trying. Just kidding—you look so happy, and I’m so happy for you!”
  • “Love is all you need… stick with that crap and you’ll do great!”
  • “You may be married, but you don‘t have to grow up! Congratulations on your wedding!”
  • “No amount of wishes or luck will protect you from the life of slavery you are about to start as a doting husband. Congratulations!”

WISHES FOR FRIENDS 

  • “Of all the big life events we’ve celebrated over the years, today tops the list. Congrats!”
  • “May you bring each other as much happiness as your friendship has brought to my life — and more!”
  • “Congratulations to the two of you: I’ve never been so excited to inherit a new best friend!”
  • “You’ll always remember this day. Hope it’s even more beautiful and perfect than you’ve been dreaming”
  • “I hope through the years you become even better friends and share every possible kind of happiness life can bring.”
  • “It means so much to witness the joy of your wedding day. Congratulations to you both on finding the perfect person to share all your days with.”

WISHES FOR FAMILY

  • “Lots of love and happiness to you both on this exciting and joyful day for our family.”
  • “I’m so thankful to have a sister/brother/son/daughter like you, and so happy to add be gaining an awesome new brother/sister/son/daughter to make more happy memories with!”
  • “Lots of love to the best sister/brother in the whole world and your new partner for life. May you have a marriage full of love and happiness!”
  • “What a wonderful day for our family, and especially you two. May the joy you feel today last a lifetime.”
  • “Today, we add one more member to our family, and we couldn’t be happier. Best wishes to you both.”
  • “I/we feel so many emotions on this day, but most of all, I’m/we’re happy you’ve found someone wonderful to share your life with. “

GENERAL WISHES

  • “We’re thrilled to be celebrating with you! Let’s get this wedding party started!”
  • “Here’s a little something to start your life together.” (Use this if you’re including a gift.)
  • “May your wedding day be filled with love, laughter and happiness (not to mention lots of fantastic pressies)!”
  • “Wishing you the best today and always.”
  • “Best wishes for a fun-filled future together.”

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And if you’re still searching for that card that sends the perfect message, take a look at our diverse selection of engagement and marriage cards on thortful.com. Now to enjoy that open bar…happy wedding season!