9.22.2009

Reference Letter Requests: An Update

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Marketing Mondays update: You know how I feel about reference letters. Now along comes my buddy Sharon Butler, of Two Coats of Paint, with a stunningly smart idea: a request for a reference letter that gives something back to the letter writer.

In her quest for a promotion to full professor at her university, she needs those dreaded letters. So why is her request different? Let me count the ways:
. She has posted the request via blog to involve those who know her in her cyber art life
. She's requesting that the letter writers include information about themselves as well (enough about you, let's talk about me) because . . .
. She's going to publish a book of those letters
. The letter writers become published authors, giving them . . .
. Another line item for the resume
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I still hate writing reference letters, but I almost always respond to a good idea. My response to Sharon: Count me in. I'm going to work on it later this week.
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Joanne. Keep those cards and letters coming!
--Sharon

Anonymous said...

Actually a quid pro quo in the context of a letter of recommendation seems ethically questionable. That is, expecting something in return that benefits you strikes me as inappropriate.

my 2 cents...

Joanne Mattera said...

Well, it's all up front, conceived as The Promotion Project. Given how active Butler is online, via Two Coats of Paint, and with her public residencies and exhibitions (Pocket Utopia; the Washington Square Art Show), this social project is very much a part of her oeuvre. One of the interesting things about social networks is that not only do we affect what's in them, they can affect what we do in our own work.

However, 2 cents are always welcome.

Anonymous said...

It may work as a Project, but if I got one of those letters, I wouldn't take it very seriously as a recommendation. It really says, "I couldn't get enough people to write letters for me the old-fashioned way, so I came up with this fun Project in which the letter-writer gets something out of it too." Someone's graduation project from art school is always something like this. It's a bit juvenile.

Recommendation Letter Request said...

This is a very good format to present a request letter.