I’m a big fan of writing letters. I’ll still fire off an email if I want to connect with a company or a person through their website or blog, but in my book, nothing beats an old fashioned piece of paper with a real signature for maximum impact.
When Ed Rendell was running for Mayor of Philadelphia, he once told me that every letter his office received on a given subject represented the opinion of 9,999 people who, for one reason or another, didn’t or couldn’t write. That rule of thumb always stuck with me, and given my propensity to burn inordinate amounts of time chasing after one windmill or another, it forged in me a moral responsibility to doggedly represent my 10,000.
So this morning when I saw that @jackassletters.com was my newest follow on Twitter, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this jackass, Christopher L. Jorgensen, is my letter-writing brother-from-another-mother.
His site, dedicated to the declining art of letter writing, is a testament to the raw power of the pen. The real pen, that is. From SWAG to satisfaction to an eight by ten glossy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Jorgensen reminds us how it’s done, providing a blow-by-blow account of every letter he writes, including running commentary, responses, and a recap of each letter’s results.
In the section titled “Lessons Learned: the obscure and the obvious” he offers common-sense advice for companies who want to mine the gold represented by that one person in ten-thousand who was bold enough, pissed off enough or bored enough to thread a sheet of crisp, white bond into their Smith Corona, and peck out their heart and soul.
When’s the last time you were compelled to write a real letter? Was it effective?