the commuter's eye

well written spam

Posted in mindscapes, techie nook by martzipan on April 2, 2012

just got an unsolicited e-mail with the following subject: “How to Communicate with Tact and Professionalism”. despite the irony, it’s probably one of the catchiest and best written ad texts i’ve seen lately, as you can read below:


Ever wish you could …

  • Tailor your message to achieve complete buy-in on your ideas and proposals?
  • Disarm others’ “hot buttons” and put people at ease — even in the heat of an argument?
  • Win arguments without losing friends?
  • Maintain your composure and control — even when someone is right in your face?
  • Decode body language to understand what people are really saying?
  • Improve your nonverbal skills for added emphasis?
  • Deliver razor-sharp instructions that get things done — without coming off like an annoying perfectionist?
  • Become so persuasive that your requests are rarely denied?

This training will show you how!

Practice makes perfect …

This course includes dozens of interactive exercises designed to drive home the skills you learn. Not only will you discover new ways to improve your interpersonal communication skills — you’ll also have the time to practice and apply these skills in “real life” situations.

You won’t just know more after attending this workshop — you’ll be a better communicator.


so, if you need some good prs, you should probably hire these people. if you can find them, of course…

on good wording

Posted in how tos, on wording and writing by martzipan on July 27, 2011

a funny and edifying excerpt from doug newsom and jim haynes’ public relations writing. form & style, 8th edition, thomson wadsworth, 2008, p. 112

Some writers can’t resist filling their prose with important-sounding phrases like “integrated conceptual analysis” or similar verbose nonsense. At least twice in every sentence they use words ending in -ment, -any, -ial, -ization, -action and -ability. Avoid such words when you can. They make reading more difficult and diminish the forcefulness of your statement. As public relations writer Alden S. Wood asks, who would have responded to these words?

Retain your earth! Abstain from engagement in interpersonal ballistic relationships unless these relationships are initiated by the power incumbents. If, however, it becomes apparent that overt hostile interaction is to commence, let this commencement have its genesis in this geopolitical region.

The average sentence length in this paragraph is less than 14 words. But the words are so foggy that the meaning is completely lost. Fortunately, Captain John Parker didn’t talk like that. Instead he uttered the famous command, “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”