My guest this week is Tom Rocco, Outreach and Communications Manager for “Inward Bound Mindfulness Education” www.iBme.com, a nonprofit organization that guides young adults in developing self awareness, compassion and ethical decision making through their programs.
Tom and I have know each other for years from the Direct Marketing world and he shared a wonderful story on how he has made the ‘form letter’ Holiday card into something truly personal and is able to really connect and stay in touch with his network.
In Tom’s words:
“For over twenty years, I’ve written a “Holiday Letter” outlining the ups and downs of the my family’s life. I made a concerted effort not to make it a “brag rag”, and strove to make it as objective a reporting as possible. While I enjoyed documenting the trials and tribulations of my loved ones and myself for nostalgic reference at some future date, I really enjoyed connecting with friends and remote family, and hoped they would write back. I truly wanted to know about them and their lives. In the last few years I made a direct appeal for responses and got some, but far less than I would have liked. In today‘s social media saturated world this kind of communication started to seem a bit irrelevant. So I decided on a different approach, emphasizing quality over quantity. In 2018 I made a goal of reaching out to 10-12 people over the year. I selected them based on who wrote back in at least one of the last two years and excluded those who I’m in regular contact with and already know most of what’s in the letter. The results have been wonderful! I’ve heard from all eight of the individuals who I’ve written too so far, some with a brief follow-up via another medium. I’ve heard about world travels and new business ventures, graduations and engagements, and re-established or nurtured connections with people that are important to me. Some of these people I haven’t seen in years, but certainly hope and plan to in the future. Sharing perspective and experiences through human connection is truly one of life’s joys. I encourage everyone to write to one person they haven’t seen in the last year today!”
(Andrea– Thank you, Tom– this is a great way to reconnect and re-establish a relationship.) To my readers, send me your creative ways to stay in touch and I will be sure to publish them.