So, I’m a forty-something advertising person who came in to the business after “It’s 8:00! Call the Fed Ex guy so we can get the ad to the paper by the midnight deadline!”… but before “I think I’m going to stop using print altogether and advertise on-line only.” Consequently, when the project came to me to put together a choir alumni reunion concert in December for my high school — tied to generating funds for a brand new scholarship fund — I thought, “Hey, cake, this is my forte.” I told the high school I would need the alumni mailing list so my agency could make a postcard to announce the reunion to former students. Additionally, I would need their list of all the people in the school district and community in order to make mail out an invitation and solicit donations.
And the school district proceeded to tell me, “Oh, we don’t do mailings anymore, we’ve gone green.”
Huh? Squeeze me? It’s bad enough that I freaked out the first time I heard the term “going paperless” because I thought it included toilet tissue – but this? How do you contact 30+ years of alumni (I had 675 people in my graduating class alone) without mailing them something?!
“We’ll use social media. Facebook, etc. We’ll put the announcement up on the school’s website.”
While there are two FB pages set up specifically for the school’s choir alumni, there are only like 267 fans on one and 65 on the other. And they’re the same fans! Of course, I immediately went the route of “the heck with it, I’ll do my own mailing.“ Of course, I quickly realized that the fantasized, really old relative I’ve never met but who leaves me millions in their will hasn’t… well… died yet. So I took a few minutes to post the info on FB and set up a gmail account to field any responses I may get. And within hours of making the initial announcement (which included my prompting of the readers to spread the information as virally as possible) I started getting emails in my account. It’s turned into a game of telephone. People are emailing me who graduated from the 70s right up to the 00s. As much as it hurts to admit, this process was by far easier and took way less time than a mailing. And it cost NOTHING. Yes, it’s definite proof of a sign of things to come – and not too far down the road.