Blah Blah Blah – or – What not to write

I have come across this story on a number of blogs. I actually can’t believe that a fundraising department approved a letter that used “blah” in it 137 times! When I read this I checked my calendar to make sure it was April 1st! What not to write…this story from USA Today:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) – An attempt to reach younger donors with a breezily written letter that uses the word “blah” 137 times has some Framingham State College alumni questioning the school’s professionalism, judgment and … blah, blah, blah.

The Sept. 5 letter, signed by the president of the school’s alumni association, was sent to about 6,000 recent graduates who hadn’t donated to the school. It used standard fundraising pitches, interspersed with sentences of nothing but “blah.”

“With the recent economic downturn and loan crisis, it has become even more important for Framingham State College to receive your support. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” one part of the letter read.

 

Christopher Hendry, the school’s vice president of college advancement, told the MetroWest Daily News of Framingham he approved the letter, which he said was written in a marketing style expected to appeal to younger donors.

Alumnus Ken Shifman, a 2003 graduate, said the letter “insults the intelligence” of alumni.

“It just doesn’t seem like something from a legitimate university,” Shifman said.

After several complaints, Hendry sent a letter of apology a month later in which he called the first letter a “misguided and embarrassing attempt to connect with alumni in a different way.”

However, Hendry notes that after the “blah” letter was sent, the school collected about $2,000 from nearly 40 alumni who had never previously given money.

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