Power of the Pen
February 27, 2015
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The hand-written note is back. And in this digital age of speed posting and garbled abbreviations instead of fully formed words and sentences, that's really saying something.
First it was A-Rod (aka Alex Rodriguez), who issued an apology letter to fans, Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family and the Players Association, for the incorrigible behavior that landed him a one-year suspension. He put it all out there - in cursive writing - straight from the heart (and the public relations office) for all the world to see. Whether or not that gets him a pass from the fans and the media when he takes the field this spring (albeit, on first instead of third base), it was a humble and gracious way to re-engage with the public. Plus it probably diverted some of the hoopla when he arrived at spring training this week.
Then it was actress Emma Watson, who uploaded a hand-written love letter to funny guy Steve Carell on Twitter, to thank him for wearing HeForShe cufflinks to the Oscars. (The links are an emblem of a gender-equality campaign for which Watson, of the Harry Potter movie franchise, is an ambassador). How ironic is it that she used a channel with a 140-character maximum to deliver an image of a full-blown piece of correspondence? On the other hand, she could've just tweeted and been done with it, but she took the time to write out her thoughts long-hand. Yes, it got her campaign a lot of great publicity, but the consensus seems to be that it was a genuine and heartfelt gesture.
Maybe the business world should take a hint from all the attention being garnered by this recent outbreak of hand-written missives. Especially those of us in the client services business. Our clients are our reason for getting up in the morning, and whether it's an occasional lunch or a phone call or, yes, a handwritten note, a personal connection will beat an email every time.
PS: For those of you who read my column two weeks ago about my recent restaurant travails, an update: Tracy and I were finally able to get into Upland, the Stephen Starr Italian restaurant on lower Park Avenue in New York City. To make a long story short, if I had to do it over again I'd take a pass. Definitely not worth the wait or the hype.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Jeffrey M. Weiner and do not represent those of Marcum LLP, its partners or its employees.
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