Thank you. Gracias. Merci. Danke.

July 10, 2013

MP&F Partner Alice ChapmanBy Alice Pearson Chapman

When I was a kid, my mom had a rule about thank-you notes. Any gift my brother and I received had to be acknowledged with a hand-written note to the giver within a week. If that task went undone, we lost the privilege of
using the gift until the note was written.

This rule has stuck with me, and I now keep a stash of notes handy, both for myself and for my children.

Thank-you notes should always be sent for life-event gifts – graduation, a wedding, a baby, to acknowledge condolences, etc. But they are equally important in the business world. I was reminded of the importance of hand-written correspondence by two excellent blog posts on the subject, one by fellow PRSA Counselors Academy member Eric Morgenstern and the other by MP&F friend Cindy Wall.

Here are some business occasions that I think require a hand-written note:

Thank you note image

  • After a job interview – This is a must. Don’t get lazy and send an email instead.
  • Following a meeting with a prospective client – “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me last week. I look forward to discussing the needs of your company in more detail in the weeks to come.”
  • A networking meeting – “Thanks for meeting me for coffee. I enjoyed hearing about your plans for the cupcake/wine bar. Hope to see you again soon.”
  • After attending a conference where a meaningful connection was made – “It was a pleasure talking with you at the Counselors Academy meeting. Please call me if I can be of assistance as you transition to your new billing system.”
  • To your mentor – “Thanks for meeting with me last week. I value your guidance and advice, and I look forward to our next meeting. Coffee is on me next month.”

Your note doesn’t have to be a novel. Keep it short. Use clean, simple stationery (Target has a great selection that won’t break the bank) or your company’s notecards. Think of this as a good chance to practice your handwriting. While technology and digital communications are a boon for our industry and make it easier than ever to tweet, pin and more, going back to the basics may make more of an impression.


One Response to “Thank you. Gracias. Merci. Danke.”

  1. David Fox Says:

    Do we indicate anywhere this was written by Alice? If not, can we do that?

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