There’s been much discussion including in this forum on the importance of storytelling techniques in social media.

Yet, the opportunity is bigger than just social media,. So many online interactions lend themselves to storytelling and ultimately fortifying the brand, even those that fall under the “mundane” category.

In fact, you could make an argument that the “mundane,” for example the confirmation for an online subscription, represents one of the best opportunities to stand out, since everyone else defaults to the status quo.

Is there any communication more dull than the out-of-office email?: “I am sorry I missed your email, but am currently out of the office (duh). I will get back to you when I return to the office on November XX.”

But author and customer service guru Marsha Collier crafts her out-of-office email with personality and pinch of levity.

A little bit of stage-setting –

Marsha got married last week.

Marsha Collier Wedding

An email trying to reach Marsha post-wedding triggered this note:

I am currently out of the office for my wedding and honeymoon.

I know I’m supposed to say that I’ll have limited access to email and won’t be able to respond until I return – but you know that’s only partly true. My devices will be with me and I can respond if I need to. And I recognize that I may need to interrupt my honeymoon from time to time to deal with something urgent.

That said, I promised my husband that after the wedding I am going to try to disconnect, get away and enjoy our honeymoon. So, I’m going to experiment with something new. I’m going to leave the decision in your hands:

  • If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I’m on my honeymoon, please resend it to ********** and I’ll try to respond to it promptly.
  • If you think someone else at The Collier Company might be able to help you, feel free to email my assistant at ********* and she’ll try to point you in the right direction.

Otherwise, I’ll respond when I return …

Warm regards,


In talking to Marsha, she made a point of saying her email was patterned after one crafted by Josh Kopelman. Recognizing storytelling gold is half the battle.

And congratulations to Marsha and Curt on their big day.