Q. I have recently started my own business and have business announcement cards to send out. I am a landscape architect, and I will be offering my professional services -- focusing on high-end residential architecture and design. I have accumulated a lot of business contacts from my previous job over the years including past clients, vendors, and other design professionals.
I have several questions regarding how to address the envelopes: Is it best to print the names and addresses on the envelopes digitally or by hand? I am usually very personal and hands on, so I would typically go with the hand-printed addresses, but I donít want the recipient to view a handwritten address as unprofessional. Also, how do I address envelopes for past clients? These announcements will be sent to a home address. Do I include Mr. & Mrs. or is it better to leave the title off since this is a business related endeavor? If Iím sending to another business professional, do I include the name of the business first and then in care of or vice versa? With or without titles for the individual? Your help is greatly appreciated!!!!
A. D., Nashville, Tennessee
A. Youíre on the right path. Because your new business is very much about you, the personal touch expressed by handwritten addresses on the business announcement envelopes is an appropriate way to go. I also think that hand-addressing the announcement plays into the recipientís natural curiosity about what was important enough to warrant the effort of writing the address by hand. Finally, I see a difference in tone between a proposal or business letter and an announcement. All that said, it is important to remember that your handwriting represents you, and the image it conveys is important. Given that you are in the design field, I am assuming your penmanship is clear, strong and probably even has that look I associate with an architectís writing. Itís amazing how many people comment to me, ďMy handwriting is terrible.Ē If thatís the case with you, then the printed envelope is the way to go. In any case, do not use printed labels, even the ones printed on clear backing, as they are less personal.
Address the envelopes using titles, first names and last names. If you know someone well, you can use the more familiar first name on a personal note that you can write on your announcement card or include separately. By the way, personal notes are a great way to engage the people you are sending announcements to. If sending the announcement to the home address of a former client, you do not need to include the significant other unless, of course, they are in business together. Finally, put the individualís name on the first line and then the business name on the second line.
about this blog
e-mail your question
Meet the Jobs Docs
Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is a partner and the general manager of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.