Archives for posts with tag: Movember

I got a hand-written card today! From an organisation! I was so excited. The oblong hole in the front door is not just for bills after all.

Somebody had written me a personal thank you note and a different hand had written my name and address on the envelope too. This wasn’t from a friend or family; this was from a large organisation.

Yes, the good people – I always suspected they were good but now I know it – at Movember wrote to me personally to thank me for the huge sacrifice of growing a moustache for 31 days. Now there are thousands of people a year that raise money for this prostate cancer charity, and I bet we all got a hand-written thank you letter. Mine was from Sara and she signed it ‘Sara x’. Who cares if it wasn’t actually Sara, it’s the thought, and the perception, that counts.

I shall definitely grow a moustache for November 2014; they have me for another year, and another few hundred quid, with one thoughtful gesture.

Attention people who have customers – or people who want to stay on the right side of someone else: show you care by taking three minutes out of your day to write a card and envelope and why you appreciate them. You’ll need a stamp too of course, but if there is a better return for such a small investment, I don’t know what it is.

Incidentally, even if you’re not in marketing – or even business – you should dip into the daily genius that is Seth Godin’s blog. Here’s one of his best ever pithy-but-explosively-useful posts containing the handwritten thank you note.

Anyway, back to emails, the web and calls…

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I’m almost a week into my fourth Movember campaign. There’s always been something oddly horrifying about a moustache, at least in the last 20 years or so. You just don’t see them in business, and you almost never see the middle classes sporting one, which is probably the same thing.

The only colour you can get away with for a genuinely ‘free standing’ moustache is grey. Ideally you need also be a retired army colonel. Otherwise people look at you funny, or assume you’re from out of town, or both.

I’ll tell you what’s so attractive about the Movember campaign. It’s the easiest way to raise money. You simply don’t shave a particular area of your face for a month.  In fact, when you look at it that way, do you less work and you raise money. It certainly beats running a marathon.

You also get a certain frisson wearing a moustache in public, since you are effectively absolved – and even lauded – for looking ridiculous.

A few years ago I was getting ready for a sales meeting in London with a senior guy and a couple of colleagues.  It was mid-November and I decided the right thing to do was to shave it off for the meeting and start again mid-month.  My colleagues said ‘Hey, where’s your mo?’ When I explained, they were in adamant agreement that I should have left it on, as it would have been a good ice-breaker and isn’t that the whole idea of Movember anyway? They were right of course. You’re drawing attention to something you feel strongly about.

I’m off to think of a business idea that’s as easy as growing a muzzer for chiridee…