The problem with newsletters

I recently tried to read an article written by a woman who apparently regards herself as something of a communications guru.

Unfortunately, the first (short) paragraph was a bit of a disaster.  After reading it through slowly two or three times, I think I managed to work out what she was trying to say.  However, what I think she was trying to say and what she was actually saying were two entirely different things.

The second paragraph was no better.  And after that it just got worse.  Serious grammatical errors, mixed metaphors, and random punctuation ensured that anything good that she had to say was well and truly lost.

The gist of her article seemed to be that email newsletters no longer work.  Her conclusion was based not on the newsletters that she had received but on the lack of response to the newsletters that she had sent out.

Her newsletters, she suggested, ‘though still effective, have significant barriers’.  And then she listed some of these supposed barriers.  But nowhere in the list was there any mention of the fundamental barrier: poorly punctuated gobbledygook.

My inbox, like the inboxes of many people I know, gets inundated with newsletters.  Some get scanned and trashed within a second or two.  Some get a more considered perusal.  And there are some that I actually look forward to reading.

The newsletters that fall into this third category are, without exception, newsletters that, first, have something to say and, second, say what they have to say with style and simplicity.  But that is something which I would have expected a woman who regards herself as a communications guru to have already known.

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