The social media maven Chris Brogan sent out a newsletter yesterday that was jam packed with good advice. His section on "Five ways to be a human at a distance" held a surprising point. I've heard he's very appealing, but I thought he might be all about sending warm pixels. However, he actually wrote:
5.) Send paper cards. This has been great lately, this trend of people sending personal cards in the mail. I got one from Beth Dockins at Scotts and I felt so happy. It was very personable. I just ordered 100 blank note cards and will buy stamps so I have no excuse not to send them.
I was delighted to see Chris highlight this wonderful, trusted way to maintain a personal connection with someone. In my early career I used to follow every phone call to a sales prospect with a personal hand-written letter. It was time consuming, but I was always remembered afterwards. And my sales numbers in that job spoke for themselves....those letters helped. So this is just not a "make your grandmother happy" insight...Chris is also talking about building meaningful business relationships.
For that reason, I always keep a stash of note cards handy, both at home in the office. I hear that Jackie Kennedy was a world-class thank you note writer, by the way. I try to channel her when I am trying to be appreciative and articulate at the same time.
And as these things go, just when you are thinking of a topic, it comes across your path. Minutes ago, Joanne and I had a front porch chat with Karen Battles of B Designs, the creator of our very early fourth Grommet...the charming letterpress note system, Desktop Caddy. She said,
I'm on a mission to help people keep paper and note writing in their everyday lives. That's why I keep our cards small. It doesn't have to be a big long old-fashioned letter. Just two lines is enough to make someone really happy.
Two lines. Anyone can write two lines, no?