Auditing PR’s weakest link: The public interface

October 23, 2007

chain1.jpgThis post began as a customer service rant, but since it’s all been said before, I decided to let it go. Then I discovered this PR lesson, an old chestnut from my past.

It began at 6:30 this morning when I retrieved my wet newspaper from the box at the curb. It rained hard all night, but my carrier didn’t bother with the plastic sleeve. She seldom does, and I’ve given up calling or writing circulation to complain. Nothing changes.

The second complaint involves my physician, whose office staff won’t snail mail a blood work order to my home. Instead, they insist I come to the office and pick it up. The office is 30 minutes away, so that’s an hour of my day and $5 worth of gas — just so they can save a stamp.

When a business treats me shabbily, I don’t complain. I simply don’t return. But I don’t have a choice with my local newspaper, short of ignoring local events. I also don’t care to replace a competent and caring doctor with one who knows nothing about me. (Please don’t tell me to read the paper online. Sharing coffee and the newspaper with my wife is a ritual I’m not about to give up. ) Read the rest of this entry »

F#@* an A! Cussing improves productivity, morale!

October 18, 2007

cussing.jpgSince I’ve been known to cuss a bit, even when things don’t go wrong, this news lifted my spirits. Yep, the world is changing, and it’s getting more friendly for those who use salty language. Researchers from the University of East Anglia have the data to support it.

According to the AFP story, “Regular swearing at work can help boost team spirit among staff, allowing them to express better their feelings as well as develop social relationships….”

Furthermore, the researchers predict that “swearing would become more common as traditional taboos are broken down, but the key appeared to be knowing when such language was appropriate and when to turn to blind eye.” The article goes on to say that cursing “helped foster solidarity among employees and express frustration, stress or other feelings.”

Hot damn, this is welcome news — especially for you HR and Internal Comm folks, eh? As for me, I plan to test it at next week’s faculty meeting by telling at least one person that they’re full of s#@&. Wish me luck.

I know, I know. Swearing in the workplace is uncivil, and a sure sign of a declining civilization. But I’m reminded of a cute little rhyme my dad used to recite when I was a kid. Let’s see if I can recall it:

Rickety, rackety russ. We ain’t supposed to cuss. But damn it to hell, it sounds so swell, we absolutely must!

Unlike many of the A-list bloggers, I don’t use offensive curse words in my writings (though I do link to them). Truth be known, I would if my mom and dad weren’t regular readers. Yeah, they’re the ones.

If you don’t share my enthusiasm for profanity in the workplace, I invite you to click to “About Me” and check out my “favorite retort.” I wrote it for you.

And lighten up. It’s almost Friday!

Update 10/25: This guy gets it!