Going Postal

Mr. Brien McHugh's picture

I’ve just been trying to contact CMMA/MCOM/Journalism Alumni to recruit them to come to our celebration of the 30th anniversary of WCSF’s FM license….and I’m really amazed at the number of ways we can now reach out.Cartoon courtesy of Jimmy Margulies

And it makes me want to put on my PR/Comm hat because just a few short years ago – 15 to 20 or so - the only way to get this message to the alumni would have been to sift through giant paper lists of graduates for addresses and phone numbers, find someone to research the addresses to make sure they are valid, create a compelling letter or flyer, stuff envelopes, address envelopes, lick postage stamps, dump a load of letters on the post office and wait. It was a costly and anxiety-inducing process.

(I’m not pointing fingers but most alumni aren’t too keen on updating their contact info with the alumni office. Can you say “We’d like a new building for the CMMA program?”)

The event invitation/planning process still involves creating a compelling message…but we’ve got so many more efficient, instantaneous and cost-effective ways to get the word out now. And that’s both good and bad. Facebook, Linked-In and, it seems like, a thousand other social media apps are especially good at the cost-effective part…but is anybody reading your carefully crafted invitation or is it being lost in all the noise?

I’ve long been a proponent of hand-addressing thank you notes and letters. Since nobody does it anymore, a hand-addressed envelope stands out like a pig in a wedding dress. (Again, I think I’m mixing a few metaphors here, so pardon me.)

And you have to watch out for those sneaky S.O.B.s who use a handwriting font to make it look like the address has been handwritten! (sorry Prof Rosner, Comic Sans was my only choice)

The message still has to be worth reading but tell me, how do you respond to an actual snail mail letter? And can you spare some change for a new CMMA building?


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