The Rolodex Era

The phrase "the Rolodex era" popped into my head this morning, and here's some results I get when I search for it.

What the digital age can learn from the Rolodex era, Full Contact:

Old school salesmen took notes on business cards, but you can enter your notes electronically. Did your new contact mention their hobbies?  Their blog?  Their personal Twitter and Facebook pages that weren’t on their business card?  How many kids they have?  What apps they love to use?  If you take the time to store this information, you can review it before your next meeting and then add personal touches to the conversation. People want to do business with detail-oriented people who care about them as a person. 

9 to 5, The Musical

Based on the hit 1980 movie of the same name, this outrageous, thought-provoking, and even romantic musical features 12 original songs by Dolly Parton, including that famous title tune. It is the story of three unlikely friends who conspire to take control of their company and learn there's nothing they can't do — even in a man's world.  Set in the late 1970s, 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL is a hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era.

Facebook for Lawyers: Don’t overlook the efficiency and power of a network on Facebook, Virtual Marketing Officer, 2011

Then I thought, how much better than the previous, one-dimensional Rolodex era! As a marketing director in the era of the ROLODEX, I would sometimes suggest to lawyers that they go through their Rolodex contacts once a week and choose someone to call up just to say,

“Hello, how are you doing? I was thinking about you and thought to give you a call.”

This suggestion was more often than not met with three objections: (1) I don’t have time (2) I don’t feel comfortable doing that, and (3) what would I say after hello?

A New Era for EMILY's List, American Prospect, 2010. Holly Yeager writes:

As I noted in a July 2008 piece for the Prospect, EMILY's List faces significant challenges, none more important than whether its Rolodex-era fundraising techniques are suited to the Internet age.

While the group sometimes ventures online, "most of its money is raised the old-fashioned way, through the mail and one-on-one solicitations, which remains well-suited to the donors the group taps," I wrote.

My conclusion from this little foray is that the mere mention of a Rolodex makes something sound outmoded, but also that people and organizations that had a good Rolodex strategy could be extremely effective.

Related articles

The Lost Art of Business Cards
Mental Rolodex.
Cultivate Your Network Like You Mean It
The mental rolodex
graph-structured rolodex
Hey, you could do that even on paper rolodex cards! Giving up on Contactually for now

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