The act of putting a pen to paper to show someone your appreciation has been around for a long time, but the popularity of the thank-you card seems to dwindle with time. Thanking someone for their gift, help, etc. is something we should never let go of—this is especially true in a profession such as public relations.
Reporters are busy. They have flurries of press releases, breaking news, deadlines and more thrown their way at all times. When they take the time to listen to your pitch, run your story or attend your event, they are going the distance to help you get your story out there, and their gift of time and effort is something that merits a thank you. Thank-you notes are always more than just ink and paper—they are a physical symbol of your appreciation and they help you build a personal relationship with your media contacts.
Thank-you cards can also do more than just show gratitude. They can do things like raise public awareness. Take this card from 1994, in which Ronald Reagan wrote an open letter to the American people after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Below are excerpts from that letter:
My fellow Americans,
I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease…
In opening our hearts, [Nancy and I] hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clear understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it….
In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president…
I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.
Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you.
What makes a great thank-you card? Former President Reagan’s thank you letter includes several elements in any good thank you card: nice stock, a personal message and a handwritten signature and/or note. Good card stock and some handwriting in the card shows you took time and care with the letter. A personal message helps you make a special connection with the recipient. After all, no one wants to receive a note that they feel was part of a fill-in-the-blank stationary set. Only Dan Rowan and Dick Martin of “Laugh-In” could get away with that, writing one of the funniest thank-you letters ever—to John Wayne, for being a guest on the show (see the link below).
Thank you cards are very important for building and maintaining relationships – whether it be with a local reporter who attended your grand opening or the American public. A personal note of appreciation is loved by any audience. So go out and write those thank you cards!
For inspiration, check out this compilation of 11 amazing thank you notes from famous people, like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, from the website Mental Floss.