When I was growing up, I loved receiving “picture cards” from family and friends who lived afar and sent them at the holidays. It was so fun to see who had changed their hair, gotten a new puppy, or had braces put on or taken off. Most cards came with brief notes, or a signature at the very least.

The advent of social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram, has diluted the joy of picture cards, as has their growing popularity. Now when I rip open the envelope, I just hope the sender has chosen a photo not already posted to Facebook. And rarely does today’s card come with a note. Washington Post reporter Eric Hoover recently posted a blog about his frustration over the de-personalization of holiday greetings, going so far as to call them “self-advertisements.”

The power of personalization

In business, as in our personal lives, there is still power in personalization. When was the last time you sent—or received—a handwritten note? Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Kralik wrote a book, A Simple Act of Gratitude, chronicling his journey of writing a thank-you note a day for an entire year. The simple act of kindness enabled him to strengthen his relationships with his family, friends and business acquaintances, putting his life on track for more meaning and fulfillment, ultimately leading him to greater success both personally and professionally.

As legal marketers, our to-do lists can often fill a notebook. And organized marketers probably had their firm’s holiday cards—whether an e-greeting or a traditional card—designed and scheduled months ago. But it isn’t too late to find a way to personalize your outreach. Think how much it would mean to your clients to know that someone took time out of a busy day to send a personal greeting.

Showing your appreciation

Start small—suggest to your attorneys that they send a note to their two favorite or largest clients. Provide them with cards if they don’t already have any, and remind them (and yourself) that they do not have to write long, creative prose. A sentence or two to thank clients for their business goes a very long way. Or think of another way to personalize the holidays—perhaps a small gift, M&Ms with the client’s logo imprinted on them, or some other creative way to say “hello” and “thank you.”

At Jaffe PR, we took a collaborative, creative approach to show our gratitude to our clients this year by creating an animated holiday card and a list of staff-recommended cookie recipes. After all, nothing is more important at Jaffe PR than our clients. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you, and we feel it’s important to show you just how much we care with our personal message of thanks.

What are some ways you plan to say thank you this season? Tell us with a comment below, or send me a message a sholtzman@jaffepr.com.