Day 12 Of The Thirty Day
Social Media Challenge
When’s the last time you wrote a hand written letter? If you can remember, congratulations on being one of a few. And if you’ve done it recently, you’re a rare breed. If you do it all the time, you’re on the endangered species list.
It is something we as a culture used to do all the time. Today, when we want to communicate with another person, we email them. If they’re really in our inner circle and we want true intimacy in communication, we whip out our Iphone and text them. LOL!
Think about it; when is the last time you pulled a hand written card or letter out of your mail box? Maybe during the holidays?
And I’m no saint here. I love modern technology.
Even when you receive something that looks like it was handwritten, it might not be. I have an online system that allows me to send real greeting cards through this companies system that uses my personal handwriting font. When I hit send, the card prints at this company and they mail it for me. Here is a blatant affiliate link for it… it is pretty cool though.
But hardly personal
Technology has turned us into this. It’s no wonder the postal office is struggling along like a wounded Brontosaurus.
I think that writing by hand always brings out the best. It’s raw, visceral and real. You cannot get any closer with your writing than writing in this way. Hand writing a personal letter is by far the best way to become intimate with it. And aren’t these emotions what we want for our social media audience to experience through our writing?
What Can World War II
And Clint Eastwood
Teach Us About Writing?
Did you see the movie “Letters From Iwo Jima”? What a great movie by one of my favorite actor/directors of all time, Clint Eastwood. (I feel macho just saying the man’s name.)
The story is about the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II. It is told from the perspective of the Japanese soldiers both through their actions and letters they wrote home to their families. Of course these letters would not find their way to their loved ones until they were either captured or dead.
The men who defended Iwo Jima knew that they were probably going to die there on that island. The emotion that went into those letters they wrote was gripping.
I am about to give away the ending. You might want to skip this if you haven’t seen it. (This is the part where I’d be saying “I know how World War II ends!”).
The movie opened with a team of Japanese excavators digging in a cave on Iwo Jima in present day. At the very end of the movie, the team finds something buried. They carefully lift a bag from the cave floor.
As the bag is raised, it opens from the bottom and hundreds of letters fall out onto the ground. As they collect there on the cave floor you hear the voices of the men who wrote them. It was very powerful.
End Of Spoiler
You just don’t get the same emotion from writing on a computer. The act of writing and even reading a hand written letter is just different.
If you’re in direct response marketing and want to guarantee your mail piece gets opened; hand write the envelope. Most people sort their mail over their garbage cans. They toss everything that looks like a sales letter.
But a hand written letter, that goes into the must open pile. And if the letter inside is hand written, you can bet your bottom dollar it is read too. Up until they realized they’re reading a sales letter, that is. LOL! (Woops, went back into texting mode).
Now You’re Really
Making A Connection!
Think about the process of writing a letter to someone close to you. A parent, a child, a best friend.
In your letter you would tell them in a direct way what was happening in your life. It likely will not be literature. It might be conversational; the way you speak.
This is one of the best ways, in my humble opinion, to write. When we speak, telling a story, we generally follow with a certain natural structure. This is the way I like to write.
Use This Concept To
Create Your Content
So think of your audience as your parent, child, best friend. You’re simply writing a letter to them every day. Sharing with them things you think they should know about your business, brand or company.
If you’re struggling to unearth new things to write about each day, imagine yourself in a cave in a far off land about to give your life for your country. All you have is a pad, a pencil and your raw emotions. I bet you can create something to write home about.
GBFN! That’s text slang for Goodbye For now.