Why old school communication gets my vote

If you’re in the UK, you’ve probably been inundated with marketing bumph from your parliamentary candidates in the last few weeks. They’re often garish, glossy flyers stuffed full of daft images of various political bods grinning gormlessly as they plant a tree. And they tend to go from my letter box to my recycling box with hardly a glance.

But yesterday, this arrived from my Lib Dem MP Edward Davey: a personal letter. Well, not quite. It’s one of those handwritten-but-printed letters but it still felt more personal than all the other stuff I’d received.

 Ed Davey MP letter   Ed Davey Mp (2) 










And do you know what? I read the whole thing from beginning to end.

A few weeks ago, at a networking event, I met Jerry Marshall from Tozer Marshall Design in Kingston. We chatted. We swapped business cards. The usual. And then a few days later I received a handwritten postcard from him saying thanks for the chat and hopefully we can work together at some point in the future. How cool? I actually called him up to say thank you, and the postcard is now pinned to my wall.

Is this old style personal correspondence making a bit of a comeback in these days of impersonal emails, tweets and texts?

James over at Freelance Switch thinks so. In a blog post this week James has some great old school ideas:

Write a handwritten thank-you note to your clients, then tuck in an extra business card – and a request that the client pass on that card to a colleague who could use your services.

So I’m digging out my fountain pen and I’m getting writing. Which only leaves the question: Should I vote for Ed Davy or Monkey the Drummer from the Monster Raving Loony Party? (And yes, he really is standing in Kingston.)

  • Johnny
    Posted at 13:18h, 06 May Reply

    Great post, thanks. This is a fab DM piece, and your note from Jerry sounds cool too.
    I don’t know if you agree, but handwritten messages seem a splendid antidote to clunky text messages and boring emails. And if the tone and content match the personal presentation, you’re onto a winner. Bring back handwritten messages? I’m in!

    • Sarah Turner
      Posted at 13:28h, 06 May Reply

      Thanks Johnny. I’m definitely going to get some wee postcards printed. Just need to practise my handwriting…!

  • Katherine
    Posted at 19:37h, 17 May Reply

    Great post – thank you!

    I love the idea of sending a handwritten postcard after the meeting! Do you think Jerry would mind if we all stole his idea?!

    Got to practice my handwriting too though 🙁

  • Joanna
    Posted at 17:53h, 27 May Reply

    It would be OK if I didn’t recognise it as the same “personal letter” from our Lib Dem candidate and it came on the same day as two other leaflets from them. Now, if they had really sat down and written one, carefully worded, personal letter over the whole campaign it would have been greener and maybe more effective.

    I like hand written communication – and the correct use of language – it can be very effective.

  • And this time…it’s personal. Why handwritten notes are making a comeback « Copywriting Blog from Turner Ink
    Posted at 14:19h, 08 July Reply

    […] this blog, the other week, I was going on about old school communication, having received a handwritten letter (sort of) from my MP and a postcard from Jerry Marshall, who […]

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