There is no doubt about it, the digital age has changed the printing industry – forever! The days of paper files and office memos are gone for good. I think most would agree that this has been a change for the better at that office, but what about on a personal level? I find myself constantly wondering, have we just gone too far? How do we balance all the benefits of the digital age and yet still keep some of the good stuff from the “old days” like thank you notes and hardcover books? We now (myself included) find ourselves emailing or texting a quick gesture of kindness or thanks, when perhaps more is deserved.
Recently I attended a lecture put on by the business school I attend. Two CEO’s from local companies offered their time to address the group on the outlook for jobs locally. Both stressed the importance of a hand-written thank you note over an email in the corporate environment. They explained that hand written notes just “stand out” because anymore, they are a rarity. A hand-written note is symbol of true appreciation for someone’s time, which in most cases is quite valuable. So, I asked myself, why would it be different on a personal level with our friends and family? This is the first thought that came to my mind and my next thought was “wow, I too have crossed the line!” I am guilty of sending the quick text of thanks for something that deserved far more. The bottom line here is, if someone takes time out of their busy schedule to buy you a gift, do you a favor, make you a dinner or even take you to lunch, it is important to acknowledge their efforts in more than just an email or text.
As we continue to welcome our new age of communication, like all things, it’s important to embrace the good and not leave all of the old stuff behind. Things like hand-written notes are a good thing!
My next several blogs will be on the topic of the digital age and its effects on the printing industry. As I write these blogs, my thoughts are pretty clear, that every event is different and the rigidity of traditional etiquette rules no longer applies to every customer we work with. But writing thank you notes is a tradition I strongly support and hope continues. When asked, my advice to customers as they work through the order process is that if it’s in their budget, to go ahead and order extra thank you notes and choose an option that will be timeless and flexible. Select a note card that can be used after a wedding or Bar Mitzvah, and also a year later as a thank you note for a home cooked meal. It is money well spent!
Next week I’ll discuss the changes we have seen over the years with the formal reply card.