Thursday, January 03, 2013

Where’s the Handwriting? The Importance of Handwritten Correspondence.

 Posted by Rose Strong

Since we’ve just gotten through the holidays, I was thinking about all of the cards, photos, newsletters and gifts sent to and from Furia Rubel in the past month. It seems to me that the holidays are still a time to send something to those we care about or those who have made even a small difference in our lives over the past year, however, does anyone send a personal note anymore?

Many years ago, right out of high school, I worked as a florist. As a business that provides people with something unique for the special events in their lives, we always handwrote each message on the tiny card that came with each purchase – especially when the giver didn’t order in person or for some reason didn’t write their own message. Today when you have a flower delivery, like anything else, there is typically a computer- generated card pinned to them and it’s just not quite the same.

Where has the art of writing a letter gone? It seems to have gone by the wayside in exchange for schedules filled with technology that make deadlines tighter and our lives too cramped with other things to take time to correspond with paper and pen.

At Furia Rubel, we send out personal birthday greetings to our clients, friends and others who we work with throughout the year. It’s a nice gesture that has always gotten great feedback from folks. This past year, we designed our own branded birthday cards for these occasions. Marketing and PR is all about making lasting relationships and we think personal notes for any occasion help to encourage good will and strengthen relationships.

Personally, as one who has never been able to send a birthday message without the word belated on the card, however, my intentions are good as I have a stash of beautiful stationery and cards just waiting to be sent. And with email, text messages, Twitter, Facebook and other social media, we tend to send messages using these vehicles instead of setting aside a few moments to pick out a card or even use some note paper and write to someone.

During a recent conversation here at the office, a co-worker remarked about how disappointing it is to see that people send condolence messages via social media. It would be hopeful that folks are also incorporating a handwritten letter or card immediately after hearing of a death through Facebook or Twitter, but considering the state of technology today, I’m not so sure people aren’t just Tweeting their sympathies.

Who among us doesn’t get a small thrill out of seeing a handwritten envelope peeking out of the stack of bills in the mail? I know it can brighten my day to receive a short note from a friend or family member. And that’s where the key to this comes in for me; a short note is all it takes. Just a small gesture of saying hello, wishing someone cheer or giving an update on happenings in and around my own life.

It’s hard not to think about the letters sent back and forth across the sea during WWII, from love notes sprayed with perfume and home-town updates to Dear John letters. They were all handwritten and brought with them a sense of the personal through the handwriting, the stationery, the stamps, the possible scent of lavender and mostly the emotions that can only be conveyed and interpreted through the written word. Today, our soldiers and their families keep in touch with email and Skype, still personal, but very different from reading those words on paper. 

Not one to make resolutions in the new year, I do try to make goals to improve upon some of my many shortcomings and this year I want to write more letters by hand. Knowing I can make someone else feel good with such little effort is a goal that I hope to achieve this year. How about you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rose is so right! I smile when I see a handwritten envelope. It was thrilling to see two valentine's day cards from good friends. I put them right up there along with my husband's. Good article Rose!