Remember the quote, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” Well I did something for the first time yesterday; I bought a book, not online but from an actual bookshop. 

Granted, it wasn’t really my first time, but in this age of online-everything I can barely remember the last time I actually walked into a bookshop. They have rows of real books, not the one-dimensional sort that is measured in dpi.

Let me walk you through my experience. I strolled out of my home, down the street and into the store. I browsed the shelves and flipped through several tomes till I settled on the one I wanted. I then picked it up, went to pay for it and chatted with the cashier as she processed my order. All very radical, especially when you include the bit about the human contact.

What this made me think is that sometimes using an old fashioned method to achieve something can be an effective way of doing it. 

In technical PR, for instance, journalists are constantly bombarded with emails from us PR folk. Most messages are more likely to be deleted than read. So sometimes it might help if we tried something different; like sending a letter through the post.

Think of what it feels like to receive a hand-written or personalised letter. You’d open that one before you even looked at the brown envelope with boring, official stuff inside. That’s exactly how you should aim to communicate your message; with personality and warmth.

It doesn’t really have to be via the post, although it could be – sometimes. The key is to make the communication method as varied as the message. To speak to journalists in a different voice each time, so that yours is heard above the melee. 

If all this sounds a little odd and unconventional then do what I did, start by buying a book from a bookshop, and see how things go from there.

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