And I like:
OK, there may be other things that warm my heart, but these two came immediately to mind when I opened an envelope this week.
That word “envelope” should give you a hint right away that something odd was afoot. Because aside from my gas bill and various other liabilities, what else arrives in a hard-copy, snail-mail envelope?
A thank-you note, that’s what.
Happy Change of Venue Friday. Today, I relate the goodness that can flow from an old-fashioned card, and I encourage us all to try it out.
This past June, I attended the annual conference of Association Media & Publishing in Washington DC. While I was there, I presented on the topic of reader engagement. My subject matter was the annual arts competition of Arizona Attorney Magazine, and I shared our path toward increased reader involvement.
Aiming (always) to engage my audience, I took a cell-phone shot of attendees about 10 minutes before I was scheduled to start my presentation. Here they are:
The session, I think, went well (I had a ball, and no one left in the middle: success). And the rest of the conference was informative and entertaining, so I felt like I got my budget’s worth.
Here’s the cover of my PowerPoint presentation, followed by the description in the conference brochure:
And then this week, as the conference receded into my distant memory, a card arrived. It had a compelling cartoon, one that signals a love for the power of magazines (so they had me right there). Here is the cover (the cartoon is by Robert Weber for The New Yorker, 10/12/92):
And then I opened it, and it was signed by AMP’s stellar team, from Executive Director Amy Lestition right on down:
Customer service? Oh yeah. Association excellence? Uh-huh.
Here at the magazine, I try to send personal notes on a semi-regular basis. I know that authors and others appreciate it, especially when they have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Receiving this week’s card reminded me of the power of the personal. This fall, as I construct my 2012 budget to decide where to allocate valuable professional development dollars, that thank-you card and witty cartoon are bound to remind me of a great few days of learning that I had in Washington. And more important, they will remind me of professionals who dipped into their scarce free moments to connect across the country.