The long lost art of the handwritten note

June 16 - penpal1-main_Full Maybe it's a generational thing, but I really appreciate the time and effort that goes into sending a handwritten note by snail mail.

Having just returned from the most excellent PRSA Counselors Academy spring conference, I was greeted by no fewer than three (count 'em, three) handwritten notes.

I'll bet I don't receive three handwritten notes in a quarter, so opening three in a day was, well, a trifecta of sorts.

All three came from fellow counselors: Eric and Shanny Morgenstern of Kansas City, Sydney Ayers of Golden, Colorado, and Dana Hughens of Raleigh. All three were short, sweet and to the point. But, the words and thoughts meant so much more to me precisely because they were written on paper.

Handwritten notes tell me a great deal about a person. I already knew Eric, Shanny and Syd were great people. But, I'd just met Dana.

How cool is it that Dana decided to use a handwritten note to follow-up to our brief meeting in Palm Springs? And, taking Dana's decision one step further, how smart is it to write a letter to totally distinguish oneself from the competition? For example, Ed 'Measuring Up' Moed just lamented about the poor interviewing skills he'd seen from three recent jobseekers. I'm guessing here, but I'll bet not one of the applicants followed up their Ed meeting with a handwritten thank you. It's subtle. But, it's huge.

Eric, Shanny, Syd and Dana aren't looking for jobs. They're just friends who took the time and effort to tell me they cared. And, in today's information overloaded world in which we live, that's huge. Thanks guys! I owe you a handwritten response.

5 thoughts on “The long lost art of the handwritten note

  1. Hey thanks for the note, Ralph. I wish I could say the same about the people with whom I meet. Written ‘thank you’ notes are scarcer than a sunny day in June.

  2. Thank you for making this point. I write handwritten notes as often as possible. One encouraging observation is that more than 50% of the candidates I interview seem to know about the art of the handwritten thank you note. Someone out there must be teaching this as one of their interview coaching tips!

  3. Great post Steve –
    I agree, a handwritten note always seems to mean more. In politics, while working on campaigns, I always try to send handwritten thank you’s for support – it personalizes the message and the constitute always seems to feel a sense of appreciation, which in return leads to further help, support, and donations.

  4. My Mom always told me to send hand-written thank you notes. I challenge myself to send at least 20 each month. Thanks, Steve, for acknowledging the importance and impact of this often-forgotten communications tool. Years later, I still get positive comments.
    Send a note. Your Mom will smile.
    Thanks, Steve!