The purple prose of Shervin Pishevar: the limits of passion at work

Investor Shervin Pishevar wrote a letter defending his friend, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, as investors attempted to eject him from Uber’s board of directors. It’s the most florid business communication you’ll ever see. In a moment of passion, you may be tempted to write like this. Don’t — it’ll come back to haunt you. … Continued

How close to perfection can you get? (Ask Dr. Wobs)

Today’s question is about the pursuit of perfection — not only how to do it, but when it makes sense. Dear Dr. Wobs: On perfection: how close to 100% error-free can an editor aspire to? What tools can help a mere mortal get a little closer? Martha Pings Perfection is a dangerous goal Dear Martha: … Continued

Trump fires at FBI director James Comey, shoots himself

Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey yesterday, ostensibly for incompetence. With the FBI investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, the justification is suspect. A ROAM analysis reveals how Trump’s letter firing Comey does the opposite of what Trump intended. Imagine you’re Trump. (Hard to do, I know.) You’re about to fire the director of the agency … Continued

How to fly readers directly to their destination: a lesson from Etihad Airways

When the Trump administration banned electronics larger than a mobile phone for passengers from several Middle East airports, airlines needed to respond. A press release from Etihad Airways tries to explain the problem and their solution, but circles around aimlessly instead. Here’s how to use a ROAM analysis to make communications like this better. Etihad’s email … Continued

Coca-Cola Refreshments achieves record low meaning ratio of 4%

If you have bad news, just come out with it. The more you bury it in self-serving bullshit, the more people will just think you’re a dishonest idiot. That’s what happened with today’s spectacularly opaque note from Coca-Cola Refreshments. Here’s the note that J.D. Lowry of Las Vegas found on the break room soda machine. … Continued