If handled correctly, first person has an authenticity and power that’s often absent in today’s hyped-up communications.
Here’s the opening of a fundraising letter I wrote this week. The signer will be a grad school alum, and I strived to keep the message straightforward and dignified, which was how she struck me in the telephone interview:
This year marks my 50th anniversary as a graduate of the (prestigious university). The master’s degree I earned in 1958 launched my career as a junior high school counselor in the city schools, where I remained for 23 years until my retirement. My graduate degree had a lasting impact on me and those I counseled.
I have made a financial gift to the school each of the last 50 years. When asked why I am such a loyal supporter, I say I simply feel it is my place to give back …
And a paragraph later, the ask …
I ask that you please join me by making your next gift today.
I love first person. You transmit the thoughts and feelings of a real person as honestly as you can, with the right amount of persuasion thrown in.
Try it in B2B copywriting, blog posts, fundraising and other communications. It works.