A love-hate relationship with thank you notes

Here’s an interesting take on the power of thank you notes. The Art of the Thank You Notes. A simple form of communication, thank you notes benefit both parties. Yet, I have had a love-hate relationship with thank you notes since I married (the first time) at age 20 and had to write about 500 thank you notes after six wedding showers and a wedding with 250 guests. In those days, husbands were not expected to participate in writing thank you notes. Thank goodness that has changed! Slogging my way through all those thank you notes seemed to take forever and often felt burdensome. In writing, I first discovered it was easier to write if I liked the gift. Then I realized I liked writing the thank you note even if I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the gift but had warm feelings for the giver. Eventually, I discovered what I believe is the key to a powerful and authentic thank you note. They should be about acknowledging the giver for generosity and kindness rather than expressing how I feel about the gift or the giver. OK. OK. Perhaps I am a slow learner. Sure makes writing thank you notes a whole lot easier. And I always feel good afterward.


About msvoss

Melinda Voss, MPH, APR, is a freelance writer, editor and public relations specialist. A staff writer for The Des Moines Register and Tribune for nearly 26 years, she has won regional and national awards and taught undergraduate and graduate journalism courses at three universities. In 1999, she earned a master's degree in public health from the University of Minnesota after co-founding the Association of Health Care Journalists in 1997. Voss initially served as the association's unpaid coordinator, then became the executive director from 1999 to 2004. She then became the public relations director for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and served in that position until November 2012. She earned her APR, an accreditation in public relations, in 2011.
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