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