If you’re a Dad like me, then you knew you had a key responsibility when your child was first born – sending an email announcement to your friends and family. Now, unlike me, you may not have prepared for the delivery-day communication in advance with an predefined email template and recipient list. Here are some tips for completing this ever-important new-Dad task.
Prepare an email group in advance - Include your friends, your wife’s friends (yes, even if you’ve never emailed them before), family, acquaintances, anyone. The birth of a child is a big freakin’ deal, spread the word around! You will be less likely to forget someone important if you start this process in advance of go-day. Start creating an email group through your email service – I use Gmail, so this process is quite simple.
The Message- Keep the details short, sweet, and to the point. Always include the following:
Email Subject: <Child’s Full name>
Email Body: <Mother’s name> and I are happy to announce the birth of a beautiful baby girl/boy named <Child’s name>.
He/She was born at 4:38 PM on Friday, February 26, 2010
7 lbs. 15.5 oz
<Child’s name> has Dad’s nose and chin and Mom’s cheeks and soccer-legs.
Both mother and baby are doing great.
- <Your name>
<link to additional online pictures>
Don’t forget to include a picture – Include a link to pictures, but always attach at least one picture directly to the email. While online picture sites are now ubiquitous, believe it or not, some people (especially older family members) may not know that a link in an email will contain additional pictures. So always attach a picture or two – this will provide your inner circle with some immediate gratification and let them avoid the confusion of launching to a new website.
Right of Refusal on Replies – Don’t feel overly-obligated to respond to every reply you receive wishing you congratulations and well-wishes. Most of the emails you receive will be more a formality by the recipient who would feel extreme guilt if he/she didn’t reply to you about such great news. Don’t get me wrong – many of the replies will be sincere and true, but many of them will be half-assed messages from people you may not like to begin with.
Be quick about it – Once you make a few phone calls to your immediate friends and family, the word will start to spread and some unknowing family member may even jump the gun by sending out an announcement of their own with a misspelling of your daughter’s name or the use of an unsanctioned nickname. You should try to control the communication, so have a draft prepared in advance be ready to pull the trigger quickly on your version of the birth announcement email.
Facebook – Yes, Facebook is a useful supplement to a birth announcement email, but it should not be used in lieu of a direct email for a few reasons. First, you may not be friends with everyone who should receive the birth announcement (i.e. the college friend your wife doesn’t really speak to anymore and wants you to include on the message to make the friend jealous). Moreover, publishing something on Facebook is not a direct, personal interaction with people – you are submitting content into the ether of a social media site and hoping it sticks. If someone doesn’t log onto Facebook for a few days then the notice about the birth of your child may not even appear on their news feed any longer.
Bottom line - once your child is born your fatherhood responsibilities kick-in immediately and one of the first things you need to take care of is notifying the masses about the birth. Start off on the right foot by preparing a birth announcement email in advance because there is no way you can fully prepare for all of the wonderful responsibilities that are forthcoming.