Letters from Strangers as Social Objects

CBC Radio’s “The Current” broadcast a lovely story yesterday about Letters from Strangers. The story features an interview with Lenka and Michael of The Mysterious Letters project and, specifically, discusses what happened when each home in Polish Hill, a community in Pittsburgh, received a handwritten letter. You can go ahead and have a listen here.

This is a fantastic social objects case study. I love how one community member said that the letters got people talking to each other who wouldn’t normally talk to each other… and how Michael and Lenka were really looking to “inspire community curiosity”. There are a lot of lessons for marketers is this story…. summed up beautifully by Michael around the 8:50 mark:

“For us, the art work, in this particular instance, isn’t the letters themselves, although they’re carefully made, it is the conversations that the people have about it.”

Or, put another way: People matter. Objects don’t.

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