At least in the public relations industry, you'd be surprised in how prevalent snail mail remains. Most reporters still prefer to receive press releases via snail mail. The reason being that it's extremely annoying to them to be besieged by unsolicited press releases via e-mail. Even more annoying to the media is to have their fax machine flooded, as this often blocks important faxes from coming through.

In fact, a while back, the Orlando Sentinel threatened to fine public relations firms for sending long unsoliticed press releases via fax (I believe the fine was $2 per page; not positive).

With the rise of e-mail, many people think trying to send information electronically is the way to go, and for immediate urgent releases it might be. However, for less timely information, a well-constructed press kit, mailed first class is still often the way to go.

i sincerely have no conception of why email has replaced snail mail. (for the record, i despise the term snail mail, but for clarity, it was essential that i make use of it). to me, email equates cold, sterile, convenience yes... but somewhat... anorexic. it takes all the delight out of leaping out of bed in trapdoor pyjamas (or maybe just some boxers huh), and encountering an untouchable, fat, gleefully handwritten envelope, often with shiny pictures and glitter and fancy headings and abominable stamps (they rarely create respectable stamps... "newman"), next to the juice your mom lovingly poured for you.

reasons it is time for you all to revert back to real life letters:

  • it is trés romantique. (think horses and castles, and rapunzel, and the damsel in distress, and the mermaid and her murdered lover, the message in a bottle and shakespeare in his loft penning sonnets to his beloved)

  • they are more fun, not only to receive but to write. (we rediscover the joys of paste {maybe even clag!} and markers and scotch tape, the underrated adhesive).

  • it's a nicer thing to do for a friend, or even an enemy, because let's face it, how long does it take to type up a few words (or, gasp, copy and paste to multiple recipients) and hit the send button (ahem, usually without using spellcheck i might add.) and that's another thing, it shall force us to become more damn grammatically correct. the next person who sends me a shoddily typed email (or letter for that matter) is going to receive in their inbox a reproduction of their email in exchange, only with a difference, spelling corrections in red ink or font, and perhaps even a mark out of ten.

  • texture, letters have texture. they are 3d rather than composed of simply 0s and 1s and travelling over a telephone cable. how poetic is that?

  • quill pens, baby, quill pens. not to mention, crayons, sanrio stickers, painful polaroids, novelty (or just plain bizarre) postcards, sequins, mix-tapes (i.e audio), photocopies, queer business cards and pompous eau de perfume of zee week samples, creative death threats. basically, anything you can fit in an (extravagently decorated) envelope.

  • at first glance, this might seem like a downfall, but the time snail mail takes to arrive really makes it more magnificent. what does time matter anyway? quite frankly, i believe that letters should in fact be timeless, meaning that we should never write things in a letter that become 'out of date' within the three days to a week it takes to get to the addressee. we should never resort to speaking about the weather! if the letter is a gorgeous little number filled with heartfelt pieces and poetry and pictures and philosophy, rather than vaguely cordial greetings and pleasantries, it matters not if it takes a year to get there.

  • and, because i want mail. that's right, quality letters that i am inspired to reply to! (because i do so love to reply). is anybody going to accept my dare? my dare to send me a letter (in which they shall receive a reply)?



{back by popular demand}

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