The Pen Is Mightier Than The Email



If there’s been a theme running through many our latest blog articles, it’s been making your brand stand out — not only against other radio stations in town, however, the plethora competitors radio broadcasters are now facing.

Spotify and Pandora, SiriusXM, Alexa and Google Voice, Joe Rogan and Michelle Obama, TikTok and Clubhouse.

Everywhere you look, wireless is frequently being outgunned by technologies — brands which are more advanced and future-focused, not to mention their tens of thousands of employees and billions of bucks.

I’ve heard developers, supervisors, as well as owners lament about how wireless can potentially compete against the likes of Amazon, Tesla, Apple, along with other corporate behemoths who have built enormous, multi-layered platforms.  And oh by the way, all these businesses have the inside track on attracting and compensating — the very best and the brightest employees to their workforce.

Depressed yet?

Because that IS the mission — finding ways to stand out, connect, and participate your current audience, while still attracting new users into the foldin an environment we couldn’t possibly envision just a Few decades ago

In earlier times I’ve written about the idea of “high-tech ” and “high touch” — an idea popularized by Megatrends author John Naisbitt four decades ago.  He recognized that while technology could rock our world with astounding innovation and advancements,  it may also be cold, blustery, and neutral.

Considering the ways that brands interface with us, you will find the countless social networking articles we scroll beyond daily.  They’re fine, of course, but they are also only a different kind of “mass communication — just one tweet or post is designed to reach tens of thousands or perhaps millions of consumers.  It’s not as simple to personalize them.

However, your midday ability may post something fascinating, humorous, and hopefully, relevant.  She can personally respond to everybody who participates together with her.  It takes more time to write a comment than it will to slap an emoji or a GIF, but as we always see in focus and L.A.B. groups, listeners are constantly impressed with any acknowledgement from the channel, or better yet, a character.

It’s similar with email.  These are generally one-way communications between the channel and tens of thousands of folks who opted into a database.  Outside of the obviously machine-created “Dear Frederick” or “Hi, Jacobs” greetings (I purchase either of these a LOT), these communiques, by style, are horribly generic.

And they don’t make a favorable feeling when they receive your name wrong, also it’s awkwardly used.  If anything those hiccups signify that the sender doesn’t get it.

And after all, even while we love the efficacy — timing and financially — of the “email blast,” it’s come to be exponentially more difficult for brands to get noticed with these mass messages.  That’therefore because most of us receive a higher volume of emails Daily, seven days a week.    A number of us get more than 100 mails per day.

If you jump them to filter out which are really important, you sometimes end up overlooking your reasonable share of the advertising efforts brands are deploying for one to start the email, read it, and maybe even react.

On social networking, they create it SO easy for you, you don’t have to come up with a simple one or two word answer to your promotion, birthday, anniversary, or joyful event.

Their AI includes generic responses developed to appear personal.  Click, and you’t taken care of Ethan.  Now onto the birthdays.

So on my good days, I employ a system where my messaging will be read nearly 100 percent of the time.  Folks see my communications, plus they constantly stand apart from the package.

As frequently as I can, I write personal, handwritten notes.

This really is a commitment, and I need to be much better and more consistent in it.  But sitting and penning a note, addressing it, and placing it in the mail is almost a sure-fire method to get noticed.

That’therefore because few folks take the time, effort, or care to do it.

It sends a message to recipients that you thought enough of these to phone a time-out, and then pen a missive of gratitude, admiration, or acknowledgement.

If they do, great things often occur.

I was scrolling through LinkedIn another evening, and ran across a excellent post from Mike Thomas Voss, market director of ESPN 1000 in Chicago.  Mike is among the few people out there with a Marconi for both a music channel (WZLX) plus a sports channel (WBZ-FM).  He’s got strong instincts for entertainment value across the whole spectrum.

So, when I ran across this post, recounting an encounter that occurred five years back, it jumped out at me.  For Mike — someone used to being about celebrities — a rare handwritten note left with an indelible impression.  And it’s a story he continues to inform:

That identical week, my daughter, Allie, fulfilled with us at Florida, flying from Detroit to a Delta flight to Ft. Lauderdale.  She has no “standing ” using Delta, and purchased a discounted trainer seat.  To put it differently, just another passenger on just another airline.

But near the end of the trip, a flight attendant walked throughout the cottage, handing out customized, hand-written postcards.  What type of impression did this produce?  Allie (also in media/marketing) was dismissed with this sudden gesture, so much so that she told me about it, and retained the postcard to show me:

Especially given it was her first flight since the beginning of the outbreak, it had more impact.  For an industry that has had among the cruelest years possible thanks to COVID, a real screen of thanks and admiration from among its grassroots employees produced great word of mouth watering to the airline.

I’m a “diamond” with Delta — the surface of the pile — and I receive mails from Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian.  They are branded “Your Update From Ed,” plus they keep me up to date with everything Delta is doing and thinking throughout the ordeal.  They are well-crafted ostensibly by a marketing group, hot, and not too corporate.  And I read nearly all of them.

However, a handwritten charge card card from a flight attendant called Gregory is in another league entirely.  It stood out, and far more meaningful.

Sure, it’s old school.  In reality, it doesn’t get much more analog than this.  That ’s exactly why it functions.

It requires zero effort to click on a “like. ”  A text message requires moments to ship.  With many mails, possibly a bit longer.  Technology makes this particular message so simple, we frequently ignore these gestures.  They’re mundane, occurring  loads of times per day day, plus they need minimum effort to crank out.

But taking the opportunity to compose your thoughts and publish or write a personal card or letter is attention-getting.  In reality, it’therefore a terrific thought in relation to an whole nation is presently trying it.

A fascinating story in Sunny Skyz clarifies a pandemic-inspired effort established by Canada Post — yes, the Canadian version of USPS.

Here’s that the concept:  Every household in the nation — all 13.5 million of these receives a prepaid postcard.  The mission?  Send a message to someone you care for.

Photo: Canada Post

Canada Post is encouraging the whole populace to deliver the postcard to anybody in the nation — just to say hello, to test in, to find out the way someone else is becoming.  As the President and CEO of Canada Post, Doug Ettinger, explained:

“Meaningful connection is vital for our emotional health, sense of community and well-being. ”

Those are perceptive words by a government , who obviously has a strong grasp on which his citizens are thinking about and feeling one year into the COVID epidemic.  (We can use somebody like Ettinger running our post office.)

The radio program?  It’so clear.  Following a tumultuous year, broadcasters are only starting to recover financially.  The business climate and requirement for place stock is advancing, and stations and their businesses have begun to see a means out of this tragedy.

However, for many in the listening audience — the folks who’ve stuck with our stations through thin and thick — their futures might be cloudier and less optimistic.  That means its a perfect time to receive a personalized postcard from a member of this airstaff, the industry manager, or even the firm CEO, thanking them for continuing to hear during 2020.

Yes, it requires a good deal of time.  However, Thomas Rhett was ready to perform the work.  Additionally true for Gregory, that Delta flight attendant.

Marketing bucks?  They’ll be nearly nonexistent for many radio stations this year.  But a few thousand cool channel postcards in 36¢ a soda for postage, and also your audience could receive personalized little analog Easter eggs from your channel and your employees.

Who knows exactly where they could end up?  Or whether those lovers you send these to react?

Can it make a huge difference on your spring publication, your Q2 sales, your investor calls, or your bottom line?

It’s tough to say as it’s such a little, personal gesture.  However, this is the way you play a long game — it’s the way you make brands built to last.

For a couple of Millennials — a singer songwriter and also a flight attendant — a couple of minutes of the time and a tiny ink made a lasting feeling.  And adventures passed along to family and friends, through word of mouth and social media.

And now I’m sharing it with all of you.  And I bet some of you share it with others.

It’so functioning.

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