It’s amazing the things you are taught by your parents…and then you pass them along to your kids.
We were always taught that a personal, handwritten thank-you note was mandatory for gifts and good deeds. And we imbued that “old school” acknowledgment into our children.
As digital media has become the lifeblood of communication, many believe that an email or even a text message thank-you is sufficient. Whether it is for job interviews or just a simple favor, the standard is now a digital reply – oftentimes lost in ever-expanding, spam-laden in-boxes or mixed up with the myriad text and Facebook messages that clutter our lives.
So when an actual, handwritten, personalized, thoughtful thank-you note actually shows up in the U.S. Mail, it gets your attention.
That’s what happened when my friend, Scott Westerman (the head honcho at Michigan State University’s Alumni Association) shared his experience with the Ann Arbor Chronicle’s publisher, Mary Morgan.
Scott and his wife, Coleen, simply subscribed to this upstart newspaper that is thriving in a university community where the main newspaper – the Ann Arbor News – folded back in 2009.
The Chronicle is doing lots of things differently (worthy of its own post), but personally thanking new subscribers is a stroke of brilliance in a world where a cold, automated email acknowledgment has become standard operating procedure – if you’re lucky.
So a better, more unique CX – customer experience – is part of it. But here’s the kicker:
This old fashioned thank-you note went viral as Westerman posted it on Instagram and Twitter. Scott is a well-networked guy with more than 3,300 followers on Twitter, many of whom are avid Spartans and other well-educated social media users. And a compelling photo on Instagram provides the digital fuel that can spark a movement and create even more attention for a newspaper that is carving out its future in an uncertain media environment.
Mary Morgan and her husband, Dave Askins, are well on the road to accomplishing something that many felt was impossible in a media space that most have written off as a print graveyard.
Sometimes it starts with a simple thank-you.
Everybody in the audience has an audience.
And every person counts.