PR Dummies: The Self-Deprecating Mr. Jones

The public relations industry is, in general, an ongoing battle for attention between the calculating evil villains and the merely buffoonish clowns. We will do our part to expose awful PR practitioners in our weekly PR Dummies column. Let us give them the attention they want. Bad, bad attention.

From: Randy Jones
Date: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 10:20 AM
Subject: It's a question of professional courtesy

Dear Media Professional,

There is little doubt the business world can benefit from a brand new focus on the importance of professional courtesy.

I respectfully request you take a moment to review the press release below and help spread the word about the nationwide launch of RediscoverCourtesy.org: The Professional Courtesy Project.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

[Randy Signature]

Taking a Stand on Professional Courtesy: "Somebody has to do it."

Professional Courtesy is making a comeback. The prime example: the recent launch of RediscoverCourtesy.org. A project of Naples, Florida-based marketing communications agency, MindZoo , RediscoverCourtesy.org plans to shed a positive light on the benefits of professional courtesy relating to business relationships, interoffice communication, profitability, ethics, employee loyalty and business operations.

In the brief time since the site first went live, RediscoverCourtesy.org founder, Randall Kenneth Jones, has been both delighted and dismayed. "The initial reaction to our new professional courtesy project has been shocking—not just in terms of what has already happened but what has not happened."

Jones continues,"Though our readers are extremely passionate, I have found one of my mentor's predictions to be somewhat true: people who need to read our professional courtesy content the most are those who are apparently not taking the time. Furthermore, nothing could have prepared me for any business professional's decision to actually take the time to opt-out of email communications on, of all things, professional courtesy."

As Jones clearly recognized a critical need for an ongoing and results-based discussion on professional courtesy, he has been pleasantly surprised by the variety of comments already received from readers:

"Please, please, please send this to every elected official — especially those in the U.S. Congress." — R.S., Naples, FL

"Younger people who have joined the workforce just a few years ago have missed out on civility and courtesy. The world is not meant to be — nor does it have to be — so cutthroat and mean." - D.S., Atlanta GA

"You're the new 'Carrie Bradshaw' of Facebook - love your style and your musings. 'Thank you' and 'You're Welcome' are a lost courtesy, especially in professional situations." - K.G., Kansas City, MO

Based on early feedback, Jones recently added a RediscoverCourtesy.org LinkedIN Discussion Group with member comments poised to dramatically shape Jones's future professional courtesy blog content. "As we have spent the past few weeks testing the site, evaluating the content, and sizing up the demand for this type of discussion; we are now poised and ready to expand our professional courtesy initiative broader national audience."

Jones is also delighted by the early support of HumanCapitalLeague.com, an extremely popular online community for workplace professionals. According to Jones, "As I knew acceptance from the Human Resources community was critical in spreading our professional-courtesy message, imagine my thrill with the thousands of additional readers we have already received from exposure on this prestigious site."

But it was his 80-year-old jokester father who originally provided the ultimate challenge to Jones's vision: "So you want to be the national watchdog for professional courtesy? Really? You?"

But the self-deprecating Jones, who fearlessly launched his "Confessional Development" blog ATTACK BUNNIES in February 2011, is also keenly aware that tackling this overlooked but potentially passion-filled topic places him squarely in a professional glass house just waiting to shatter around him and rip him to shreds.

Jones's response: "There appears to be no public repository for a solutions-based discussion on this timely and important topic. Making this courtesy-themed project more ironic is that everyone I talk to appears to have very passionate views on this subject. If launching this initiative makes me a target, bring it on. Somebody has to do it."

Press photos can be downloaded here: www.RediscoverCourtesy.org/press

You really should check out those press photos—of the self-deprecating Jones himself!

[This has been our third installment of PR Dummies. Our thanks to everyone who submitted awful PR emails. Please send your own submissions here.]