Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Meet with Anyone by Sending Email

Today’s idea: “How to Get a Meeting With Almost Anyone Through Email”


This blog post at Boston College (a cute little school I used to live next door to) has some fantastic advice, and is well worth your read.

However, as a department chair who gets a handful of “cold call” emails like this each week, I have some additional advice. In brief, don’t b***s*** the person you’re writing to. It’s the fastest way to have your email labeled “spam” for any and all future contacts.

Let me give you some examples:
  • “Win a trip to Paris! All you have to do is round up 30 students who are willing to pay through the nose for our tour, and you as a faculty member travel for free.” (Yeah, like I really want to exploit y’all like this.)
  • “I have written a book. You must assign this book to all your students as required reading, and here is why.” (The writer knows nothing about what I select for my course reading lists.)
  • “I have written a very interesting book. I need a proofreader and ghostwriter. I can’t pay anything.” (Chortle.)
  • “You have been selected for inclusion in our exclusive Who’s Who Among Low-Ranking Administrators!” (As long as I pay a $1,000 fee, I can have a 2-line listing in a book nobody will ever read; additional info, of course, costs extra.)
  • “Your department website needs to link to our informative site on master’s degrees, because it’s really good advice for your students.” (On closer inspection, the site is a commercial listing for four online colleges which don’t even offer an English degree. When I googled the sender’s email, I discovered she had used identical language for motorcycle parts listings.)
  • “I wish to teach a course in Linguistics at Niagara University, and I require a $10,000 per course salary plus benefits. I’m that good.” (We don’t offer Linguistics; we don’t have adjunct faculty teaching upper division courses; and we don’t pay that kind of money. You can be Harold Bloom for all I care, the answer is “no.”)

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