How many times do you put pen to paper in this day and age? We live in such a fast pace society, we expect instant gratification. Between email, social networks, and texting, we have lost the art of personalization. One of Gary’s best practices was sending personalized cards to staff and colleagues. He would track birthdays, special recognitions, holidays, and write thank you’s to his staff members and friends in the hospitality industry. Gary would spend his weekends diligently encouraging and recognizing achievements and milestones in the industry. For instance, if there was a featured article of an industry colleague, Gary would be the first to tear the article out of the magazine and send a personalized note celebrating the acknowledgement of their achievement. Sometimes Gary would even include the article in the card. Celebrating others success was a key component of his personal brand.
If you received a card from Gary, I can assure you it was personalized and signed by him. He took great pride in this endeavor. Since Gary’s passing, we have had many friends tell us they still to this day have saved these personalized cards Gary sent to them. Now we realize how important these treasured keepsakes of inspiration and encouragement still resonate today. It is so much faster to send en email, but is it truly remembered? A handwritten note is more impactful to the recipient because it shows you took the extra time to craft your letter.
We all receive the typical holiday brag letter that is copied and sent to all. Over the years I have noticed people don’t even sign their cards. They are labeled, printed, and mailed to the masses. Yes, I know it saves time, but there is no personalization. Think about how this appeals to your career. When you meet someone for a job interview or a future opportunity, do you take the time to send a handwritten note? I can assure you, if you do, you will be remembered.
Questions to think about
1. Were hand written notes practiced in your household growing up?
2. Do you own stationary?
3. When was the last time you sent a personalized thank you?
4. Have you saved cards and letters that have sentimental value to you?
5. How does it make you feel when you receive a personalized letter/card?