Today I ran across a post I sent to the LMA, or Legal Marketing Association, listserve on December 5, 2008 in response to a post my friend and colleague Ross Fishman posted.
Ross was talking about how special it made him feel, in the midst of what was then an overflowing inbox, when a Partner at his former firm sent him a hand-written note saying “Congratulations Ross!”
He still had that note a decade later because it meant so much to him that the Partner took the time to hand-write the note.
I replied to Ross and the listserve that I had to smile when I read his post because it reminded me of a dear former colleague in the Customer Service department at Time Warner where I worked for just short of 10 years in the 80s and 90s.
My response to Ross continued:
“At Time Warner, we were given anniversaries and birthdays in the monthly newsletter, so I tried (I wasn’t always successful, but I tried) to write an anniversary note to employees on their anniversary. I can’t tell you how touched (humbled really) I was when years later, John, my dear Time Warner friend, told me he still had my note! I think that meant more to me than to him, but I’m not sure.”
I found it interesting that in December of 2008, I shared:
“I believe we were entering an age when it is rare to communicate by the written hand, or even by mail. This can be a time when a person, company or firm has the opportunity to stand out from the crowd, to really differentiate itself by adding a written and/or mailed component to its marketing strategy.
I’m not discounting new media, and think it can also be incredibly powerful if given careful thought, but the marketing mix is just that, a mix, not a single shot marketing tactic we hope will accomplish everything we’d like. When the crowd all seems to be going one way, think about where they aren’t going, and see if it might make sense to go there all by yourself.
Bottom Line: You might call it “old media,” but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be included in your marketing mix.”
Whether 2008 or 2011, my feelings have not changed. We are living in an incredible time when we have so many options and tools with which to communicate. Even so, don’t forget the special touches, those methods you can use to reach out and really touch someone, and try to do it in a way that your recipient might just find pretty rare these days.
Sincere appreciation goes to Jane in Devon, UK for the beautiful image used above.