PR Campaigns – The blog

February 23, 2009

The power of a “thank-you”

Filed under: Uncategorized — lehanson @ 6:41 pm
Tags: , , ,

I was raised writing thank-yous. After every birthday and Christmas my mom would bring out the thank-you cards and sit me down with a pen to write to my aunts and uncles, grandparents, godparents and friends. Back then I thought it was annoying and just some time wasting task my mom was putting me up to so I wasn’t pestering her. However, the act of writing thank-yous is something that has stuck with me and I would say it has been to my benefit. I was reminded of this when I came across the blog Comprehension and the post titled TAKE NOTE: Key Ways to Say “Thank You” When You Are Building Your New And Empowered Network. It was written by Andrea R. Nierenberg, founder and president of The Nierenberg Group, a best-selling author and an internationally known business figure. She breaks down in a two-part blog about how important it is to send personal notes, whether it is a thank you or not.

Nierenberg writes how writing personal notes is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stay in touch. She gives eight different reasons why a personal note should be sent:

  1. When someone does business with you – every time.
  2. When they compliment you.
  3. When someone offers comments or suggestions.
  4. When someone tries something you recommended.
  5. When your advocates recommend you.
  6. When your contacts are patient; or not so patient.
  7. When someone says “no” to you.
  8. When people make you smile.

 After each bullet she gives more details but I didn’t want to spoil her blog. There were some ideas that I overlook on a daily basis. One that she doesn’t specifically state is sending a thank-you after an interview. You don’t necessarily have to wait for a “no” to send a “thank-you for your time”. If a position is down to two people that are equally qualified and one sends a thank-you after the interview, who do you think is more likely to get the job? Yes, the one that sent the hand written thank-you. That’s a BIG difference that a little note makes.

Nierenberg also mentioned something that I thought was quite encouraging, especially with the current job market, through research she has conducted, it has showed that almost 20 percent of jobs and opportunities come from prospects that said no the first time. So send that thank-you even if you’re not offered the job and hopefully if you apply again the company will remember that and it could make a difference the second time around.

So you may think that hand written notes are a thing of the past, but let’s be real who doesn’t like to get something via mailbox these days? Take a break from the keyboard and break out the pen and paper. It’s a 42 cent investment could potentially pay off in the future.

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10 Comments »

  1. I love this post! I haven’t looked at the whole blog yet but I am excited. I truly believe that writing a thank you note changes everything. I wish I was more active in doing this I am sure it could change the whole perspective that people have on a person in general. I will definitely put this into more of a practice because of this post.

    Comment by lindsaylynch — February 23, 2009 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  2. I think it is really important to hand write notes. I can’t tell you how many “welcome, thank you for staying with us” notes I have written for media. Whether they keep your note or not, it really is a shocker for some that you would do so. The fact that it is hand written means that you really took the time to write this card for them, not just print it from the computer. It’s personal and more meaningful this way.

    Comment by Nancy Flores — February 23, 2009 @ 8:27 pm | Reply

  3. A class speaker I had recently spoke about the importance of a thank you not too and it opened my eyes. I never really considered how much weight the thank you note carried in the minds of those “important” people. This is a very useful blog and I agree with the importance of a thank you note.

    Comment by kbergeron44 — February 23, 2009 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

  4. This is great advice. My parents raised me the same way. It has stuck with me ever since and when a holiday, birthday or a nice gesture is sent my way, I always write a quick thank you note to say how much I appreciate it. I know how great it is to get a thank you note in the mail, so I like to return the favor. Even now that I have lived away from my parents for almost four years, I still send my parents a thank you card after every holiday. I think it is a very simple task that goes a long way and will make someone smile.

    Comment by kmmorten — February 23, 2009 @ 9:26 pm | Reply

  5. In age that is so virtually obsessed with the web, I think that is important to go “old school” and hand write a thank you note. I think people now get so caught up in email and text and every other technology out there, that they forget the significance of a pen and paper. I admit that even I forget that a simple thank you note has a lot of meaning. Unfortunately, I think that a lot of people have converted to the e-mail genre.

    Comment by kristenih — February 23, 2009 @ 10:29 pm | Reply

  6. I completely agree that sometimes we all get so caught up in the newest form of social media and it weakens the message we are trying to communicate. There is no argument that email is the fastest and most of effective way of day-to-day communication, but when it comes to birthdays, thank you’s and etc. sometimes an email just doesn’t cut it. We all want the satisfaction of going to the mailbox and having the excitement of opening a card. This extends beyond our personal lives and into the work place, meaningful and thoughtful forms of communication are appreciated. I like how you noted that people are more likely to consider you for a job a second time around if you followed up with them after the first interview with a thank-you and maintained communication.

    Comment by lmdavis2 — February 23, 2009 @ 10:51 pm | Reply

  7. COMPLETELY AGREE!!! Wrting something as simple as a thank-you letter can make all the difference in many situations. Someone that may have never remembered you from an interview or informal meeting can now put a face to a name with a very simple “thank-you” note.

    I think this is a great idea especially in our current economic state to make one set apart from the rest of the crowd. What could it hurt? Just rememeber the last time you received a thank-you note and how it made you feel? I’m ALL FOR THANK-YOU’S!!! 🙂

    Comment by haleypetersonasu — February 24, 2009 @ 12:09 am | Reply

  8. I used to hate writing a thank-you when I was younger, but I completely agree that they have a power that could be unmatched.

    In a selling class I took, the importance of hand-written notes and remembering small details about customers you have built relationships was emphasized by my professor. If you saw an article about a subject that interested your customer, cut it out and mail it with a note. He recommended you do little stuff that would separate you and help the relationship grow. I imagine just like thank-yous, they go a long way.

    Comment by mjcavaleri — February 24, 2009 @ 8:39 pm | Reply

  9. Agreed! PR is a detail oriented field and the little things that you do to set you apart from the pack can be truly resounding. In McGuire’s business of journalism class a guest speaker of ours says he personally delivers any hand written thank you notes he gets to the HR department. That really pointed out to me the effect it has with some people.

    Comment by laurenmac87 — February 25, 2009 @ 3:01 pm | Reply

  10. I think it is a simple task that gets looked over way too many times. But with the hundreds of emails, blogs and tweets people see a day it is out of the ordinary to get a hand written note. I want to play devils advocate for a second though. When people would tell me that writing a thank-you note was an appropriate thing to do I always second guessed it. I wonder to what extent a potential boss, who received a card would actually feel more inclined to give you the job over someone who hadn’t. Does it depend on the person, or is it universally accepted to send thank-you cards. I know for me personally, I never open my mail. Either I forget about it being so busy, or since I do most things, like banking and bill paying online, I almost see no reason for the mail anymore. I know it is probably different for an executive as apposed to a college senior, but I always wanted to see some statistics on the effects of sending thank you cards.

    Comment by mlmyers — February 26, 2009 @ 5:28 pm | Reply


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