Pen Pals

By Devin Pence


Let me preface this post by admitting I’m not the most tech savvy person at work or in my personal life – and I’m proud of it. I still leave voicemails for friends (even though I know they’ll reply by text), I’ll never switch over to an electronic calendar, and I live to take down messages via Post-it.

Thanks to a woman named Doris, my love of the old just reached a whole new level. Last month I became her pen pal.

Yep, that kind of pen pal – fancy stationery, a wet fountain pen, and the cursive handwriting we learned in second grade.

I know what you’re thinking: how does a recent college grad expect to survive in a tech-obsessed world? What makes her as qualified for a PR job as a person who understands (and better yet uses) platforms like Blogspot, Tumblr and Instagram?

The answer is simple. Good communication will always have value – to your friends, your clients, your employer, and even yourself.

In the public relations field, communication is of the utmost importance. At Crier, our job is to mediate the conversation between client and media and make that conversation intriguing, productive, and meaningful to both parties. How can those things happen if your email is poorly developed, misleading, or difficult to read? You just lost a lead and you may have even lost a client.

In work and play, it’s important to adapt to other people’s means of communicating. When discussing a group project, does your colleague prefer a coffee sit-down or a quick phone call? Does your mom expect a Hallmark card for her birthday or a thoughtful text? Show that you care about making others’ lives better and they’ll likely care more about yours.

Did I anticipate one of my first real pen pals at age twenty-three? Not really. But I must say it’s been a lot of fun.

So go ahead, tweet, pin, and post away – but also keep in mind that good old-fashioned chatter never actually gets old. Pick up the phone or break out some nice paper – people notice and appreciate when you make your words stand out from the crowd.

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