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The Dos and Don’ts of Writing in a Group Card

Group Card Message Inspiration

25 Apr 2021

The Dos and Don’ts of Writing in a Group Card

Spring has officially sprung and life is finally starting back up again, so we figured it was the perfect time to announce our brand new Moonpig Group Cards feature! Just what you need for all your upcoming birthdays and causes for celebration (of which we hope there are many on the way), with the Group Cards service all you do is pick a card design and choose up to 20 people to sign it. They receive their link, add their message and bam, card done and on it’s way to the lucky person!

But, if you get sweaty palms at the thought of signing a group card...you’re not alone. A new national poll revealed that more than half of Brits (52%) feel anxious when it comes to signing a group greeting card. The struggle is real.

So, to lend a helping hand, we enlisted etiquette authority William Hanson to share tips for how to get over those nerves and stand out on the page for all the right reasons.

(Find out how to send a Moonpig group card here.)

William’s top 10 etiquette tips:

Write from the heart

Sometimes, it’s easier to just pick up a pen and write whatever comes naturally. This is the best way to ensure a delicate balance between being overly gushy and sterile. If a colleague is leaving and you’re going to miss them, tell them that. If you want someone to have a birthday as amazing as they are, write that. Try to stay away from writing anything that isn’t true.

Keep it universal

What may be found funny or acceptable within your friendship circle may lead to some awkward explaining when Great Aunt Ethel is shown the card at the weekend. Whatever you write - or draw - please bear in mind that we need it to be suitable for all ages, and anyone might take a peek inside the card.

Draft it first

This one is super important - type or scribble your message first before tattooing it on the group card. Check spellings, legibility and tone before you go anywhere near the real thing. Preparation is your friend.

Don’t reinvent the wheel

There’s no need to feel the pressure to contribute to the group greeting card like you’re writing a holiday fiction bestseller. It’s a card. You don’t need to be Shakespeare. There really is only so much you can do or say in it. So, keep it simple and don’t overthink.

Don’t be greedy

Good manners are about other people, which is most important when it comes to marking your territory on the card. Hopefully, the group card organiser will give you a steer on how many more people are left to sign so you can make sure your signature and message don’t ‘double park’. Just like you wouldn't steal the whole duvet in bed, don’t hog the whole card.

Check what you are signing

Never sign the group card when you are distracted. You don’t want to write  ‘congratulations’ when someone’s been made redundant, or ‘happy birthday’ if they’re retiring. If in doubt, ask the card organiser what the card’s purpose or background is and sign it when you have a moment to focus.

Is this actually funny to others?

Humour is so subjective and harder to nail when it’s in writing. Think twice, if not three times, about whether what’s in your head is funny to others. Ask around if you aren’t sure.

Treat others how you wish to be treated

A good rule is to think about how you wish to be treated when it’s your milestone birthday or when you go on maternity leave for example. If you’d appreciate a sweet and heartfelt message, then go for something along those lines and you can’t go far wrong.

Pointing out typos is okay

By all means, have a scan over everyone else’s messages to get inspiration. However, if you spot a spelling mistake or faux pas, don’t tell the person who wrote it - tell the card’s organiser. They can decide whether it’s a significant enough error to start again or let it slide. It’s a group card after all, and not an issue of Time magazine.

You don’t have to sign it if you don’t want to

Of course, there is a chance that a group card comes around for someone you don’t know - maybe even who you actively avoid speaking to in the office due to office politics. (Or perhaps, like us, you’ve been handed your own birthday card to sign. Write yourself a gushingly flattering message or feel free to pass along.) If you get offered the chance to sign the card but would rather not, a polite ‘I’m fine, thank you’ is all that’s needed to the card’s organiser. They should ask no further questions. 

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