How hard is it for a PR person to say thank you when someone does something that benefits you? Not that hard! Just do it.
When your client gets coverage, say thank you to the media person who provided the coverage and to the person who set up the coverage. When you get a new client, say thanks to the person who referred you. When a fellow PR pro shares contact info or a useful tip, say thanks.
HOW you say thank you can make your gratitude more meaningful and more memorable. The quickest and simplest way is with a phone call or an email. The call is a bit more personal and allows you to express your feelings more clearly (because there’s tone and inflection in a call/voicemail message that is not present in an email).
A handwritten thank you note, sent via snail mail, makes a HUGE impression. And it’s easy to do. (Okay, sometimes it’s hard for me to find cards that I like. Most of the thank you cards I see are a bit too feminine to represent me.) You simply write a few brief sentences: Offer thanks for the good act this person has done, share your appreciation for the person’s work and wish him/her continued good fortune. Sign it, stamp it, put it in the box—done. Do it yourself—don’t hand this off to your assistant or intern.
WHEN you say thank you is also important. The sooner you send the card (or make that call), the greater an impact your thank you will have. Within a day or two is best, within a week is acceptable. Don’t put it off. Go buy a box or two of thank you cards and stamps today so you’ll have them when needed.
Is it okay to say thanks via Twitter or Facebook? If you want to share your thank you with the world, it may be okay. But you may want to keep this personal communication private. (Saying thanks to your clients’ followers and fans for posts and tweets is a completely different matter. That, too, is a thank you that should be delivered by a community manager in a timely manner.)
Saying thank you is something you have been taught since childhood. It may take a moment or two of your valuable time, but the long-term effects can be significant. And, to you, for reading this post, I say, “thank you.”