The Power of Thank You

Despite me extolling the virtues of face-to-face, there are occasions when the power of a social network proves to be invaluable.  And on no fewer than five occasions over the past two weeks, social media has helped me re-connect with former students of mine in such a powerful way.  Sometimes, it really helps a teacher to know that the message has finally gotten through. A former student of mine contacted me a while ago to tell me that he was working at a brand agency where he was heading up “all the online research” for a really big client. He told me “during an internal meeting the other week, we were discussing ways of segmenting the information and then reporting back on it etc. So after a few ideas I suggested a bit of content analysis – which to my AMAZEMENT no one had ever heard of before. So the more I explained the more they liked, and by the time I’d finished they thought I was a genius! Thanks for the invaluable knowledge!”

Then a Masters Graduate of mine tweeted that “Quoted James Grunig in a meeting today. @CSweetPR will be proud.”- and I was- especially as he is social media community manager for Microsoft in the UK!

That sort of feedback is just…rocket fuel to a teacher.  And then one of my first students got in touch five years after she graduated to say “I received an industry award today and wanted to send you a personal note of thanks for the support, mentoring and teaching you gave to me on my course at Solent.”   Yeah…that kind of made my day, too.

I keep a watchful eye on my graduates through LinkedIn. Sometimes the students are fabulously clever and I know that they will do wonderful things even if I’d never met them. Other times, students who have doubts about their own abilities need a little TLC and patient support to realise they’re brilliant, too. So, this week I had two good pieces of news via LinkedIn and e mail.  One said, “I was just thinking about you the other day when asked which women have inspired me in the past. I just want to say thank you, because without you I would not have been able to graduate. When I was having a very difficult time, you were there to help me through it, and be able to finish my studies….Just wanted to say thank you.”  She’s a commuications specialist now with a major financial services firm.

And then when I opened my home e mail, what did I find but an email headlined “Good News!” from a graduate that I had seen a few months before. He’d been frustrated with not finding the right PR job, several years after graduating. He wanted to do social media work, but was finding it hard to break into it. After some practical career advice over a coffee when he was briefly in the UK, two months later I got the message that he had just landed a six month internship “as a Community Manager/Social Media Manager with Publicis K1” in Paris. RESULT!

Students who take the time to say thank you- well, you know who you are. And this is a big THANK YOU back at you.i_thank_you1


About catherinesweet
Academic, professional, communicator, stakeholder in a dozen different disguises

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