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Thanks for your help - here is my reply (was: Your request - my reply

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  • Ned Barnett
    Folks - thanks to all of you who advised me on the best way to respond (or to not respond) to the student who wrote an incomprehensible note to me apparently
    Message 1 of 1 , May 20, 2009
      Folks - thanks to all of you who advised me on the best way to respond (or
      to not respond) to the student who wrote an incomprehensible note to me
      apparently asking for my help. Here's what I wrote to her. I'll be
      interested to see how (or if) she replies.

      Student wrote: "Hi, im doing my tesis about some articles of you and i have
      a doubt, when you write "Be the exception that proves the rule" you were a
      techer in some university, cuz i explain to you im doing a database about
      articles of PR and Institutional communications published between 2003 to
      2008, in will be so much help for me if you respond this email regards"


      I am going to help you in ways that may surprise you; then I'll invite you
      to ask me again for the kind of help you think you need.

      I have been a PR professional since 1972; I have taught PR at two
      universities and two colleges - I've written nine published books on PR, and
      I have such a regard for education that one of my sons is a college
      professor and one is entering a Masters program in elementary education in
      the fall. With all of these factors (and many more) impacting my decision,
      I'm going to try to do you a favor.

      If your request is a reflection on your writing and communications skills,
      you need to forget about going into Public Relations. PR demands of its
      practitioners a high degree of skill in written and oral communications -
      which means a basic mastery of spelling, capitalization, grammar, sentence
      structure and an overall comprehensibility. Your request is not
      comprehensible; it is not grammatical; it has several egregious spelling
      errors, even though every word processing program on the planet has a
      spell-check system. Your request is, apparently, one run-on sentence; the
      punctuation makes that hard to discern. If this is an example of your
      written communications skill level, you cannot succeed in public relations
      (I'm amazed that you've gotten far enough into an academic program that you
      are now writing a "tesis" for your "techer").

      So my help to you is this: Either get out of PR right away (for your own
      good), or demonstrate that you know how to write a simple request in a
      professional and effective format.

      If you can write an articulate request for my help, I invite you to write me
      in clear, grammatical American English, spelling out exactly what help you
      are seeking from me. However, if this is request of yours is the best you
      can do, I suggest that you quickly change your major to something that does
      not require clear or grammatical written or spoken communications.

      I wish you no disrespect, even though this incomprehensible request of yours
      might be considered disrespectful - you seem to have such a low regard of me
      (though I don't know why) that you felt a mis-spelled, inarticulate request
      would be sufficient to garner the assistance you require. However, I cannot
      help you beyond this unless and until you ask me a civil question in clear
      American English, in a way that demonstrates your basic communications

      I await your reply.

      Ned Barnett, APR

      Marketing/PR Fellow, American Hospital Association

      Barnett Marketing Communications

      420 N. Nellis Blvd. A3-276

      Las Vegas NV 89110

      702-696-1200 - ned@...


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