Letter-writing Continues to Create Bridges Over Long Distances: DayTimer Survey Respondents Reach Out to Friends, Family and Colleagues Via Handwritten Communication

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Results of DayTimers survey on hand-written communication in an electronic age.

It's a pleasant surprise to receive a personal hand-written note. In this age of fast-paced, incessant, electronic communications, we are hungry for a high-touch connection with others. The handwritten word does just that for us

Nearly 63% of the 1142 respondents to a survey of Day-Timers customers from March 26 - April 11, 2008 agreed that letter writing continues to play a role in their lives. Forty-seven percent said they wrote letters to friends and colleagues, while 44% wrote to members of their family, including their spouse or significant other (17%), grown children (15%) or parents (12%).

Thirty-six percent wrote letters between 6 and 15 times per year while 44% received the same number (6-15 letters). But, 44% only wrote between one and five times a year.

"Today, family and friends live further away from each other," said Maria Woytek, Communications Manager at DayTimers, Inc.

Men and women in the military are separated from their loved ones. There is an increase in long-distance love relationships and long-distance grandparenting. Even business colleagues today are separated because of heavy travel schedules or telecommuting arrangements. And then there are workers in small offices and home office businesses who feel a sense of isolation from others.

"Not surprisingly," Woytek commented, "more and more people are returning to letter writing to stay in touch."

Based on the survey results, more people are hand- writing letters than their parents did. Not surprisingly, respondents (37%) whose parents hand wrote letters are more likely to write letters themselves.

While 30% resorted to greeting cards to express their sentiments, 49% used special stationery, personalized stationery or blank note cards.

Most letters (62%) were written for emotional reasons: 27% to express gratitude, 19% to convey thinking of you sentiments, 11% to express affection and 5% wrote love letters.

There were, however, a number of respondents (36%) who said they do not handwrite letters. Sixty-three percent of those who don't hand write letters are using email and text messaging to stay in touch.

"It's a pleasant surprise to receive a personal hand-written note. In this age of fast-paced, incessant, electronic communications, we are hungry for a high-touch connection with others. The handwritten word does just that for us," Woytek noted.

About DayTimers: Established in 1947, DayTimers, Inc. is the original American provider of time management solutions and organization tools to help simplify life. DayTimers is a subsidiary of ACCO Brands (NYSE: ABD). The complete DayTimer® line of planners, luxury leather covers, portfolios, handbags and more can be found at http://www.daytimer.com or by calling 1-800-225-5005. Select organization tools are also available at Staples, Office Depot, and other major office supply retailers.

Contact: Connie LaMotta, LaMotta Strategic Communications, Inc. 845-358-6301(o), 845-596-6091(cell)

Facts and stats:
National Card and Letter writing months
During the month of April and May this year, postmasters and managers of Customer Service at Post Offices across the country are encouraging card and letter writing by hosting friendly competitions among local youth or by supporting activities at local libraries or schools.

Long-distance Grandparents
Getting together with the relatives isn't easy for many families today: two-thirds of grandparents are more than a day's drive from at least one grandchild, according to the American Association of Retired People (AARP)

Long-distance Military Families
One of the biggest problems we encounter as a military family is distance.
Around 50% of military personnel conduct long distance marriages and engagements and yet society does not seem to class these as long distance relationships because they do generally work. This just goes to show that a successful, loving partnership is possible when conducted in different time zones! Squidoo.com

LongDistanceRelationships.com surveyed 200 people in a long distance relationship, and found out:

  • Couples live an average of 125 miles apart, and visit each other 1.5 times per month.
  • Phone calls are made every 2.7 days; the average call lasts 30 minutes.
  • Letters (not counting emails) are exchanged 3 times per month.
  • Most couples expect to be separated an average of 14 months.

Long Distance Caregivers

  • 7 million Americans provide 80% of the care to ailing or vulnerable family members.
  • There are approximately 3.3 million long distance caregivers.
  • The average age of a long distance caregiver is 46 years old.
  • The number of long distance caregivers will DOUBLE over the next 15 years.

The business letter: still a valuable communication tool
By: Helen Wilkie, author, The Hidden Profit Center

"The letter has traditionally been the central vehicle for written messages in the world of business. In fact, it still is. Even today, in spite of the continuing growth in e-mail, text messaging and other technologies, when we want to send important information in writing to people outside our companies or organizations, the letter is still the best choice.

By its very nature -- a printed message on paper -- it creates the impression that it is important. In a sea of electronic communication, the letter stands out."


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Connie LaMotta
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