Once again I am reminded that my obsession with correct
grammar, spelling and punctuation is NOT shared by all.

I’m in the midst of paper-grading for my “Introduction to Organizational Communication” class at The University of
Tampa and already have had to gently chide a student for
incredibly sloppy writing.

Okay. I know. “They’re students, Kirk. Lighten up.

Unh-unh. Not gonna happen.

My goal, besides introducing these folks to various aspects of the communication world, is to make it crystal-clear that attention to detail is a major factor in our world of written and verbal communication. As I rant over and over, “Sloppy writing is a clear sign of laziness. You were too lazy to even ask someone else to help you proof your work.”

I once had a conversation with a good friend… PR agency president…about the dozens of resumes we both got virtually every day from wannabe job applicants. I asked her, “How do you deal with this challenge?”

Her response? “Easy. First typo, trashcan.”

Wow! That cuts to the chase pretty fast, doesn’t it?!?

So here’s the deal as I explain it to my college students. Every college, large and small, has some version of an “academic success” office with professionals on staff to help you with your writing. Take advantage of this benefit. After all, a part of your tuition is used to fund it.

Now, having gotten THAT rant off my chest, I want to hasten to add that I don’t do an Attila-the-Hun assault on sloppy writing. It’s usually just half-a-letter-grade (A-minus instead of A, for example) to get the point across. But, for students who, for whatever reason, are dead-set on making Dean’s List, this “minor” markdown can make a difference.

The bottom line is that I want my students, whether or not they drink the Kool-aid and focus on Public Relations as their area of interest, to be as prepared as possible for their entry into the professional world of communication.

“The Devil is in the details.”


About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 20 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
This entry was posted in Action, careers, Communication, Critical Thinking, Education, Evaluation, feedback, internships, job hunting, job search, mentoring, PR, PR students, public relations, The University of Tampa, Thinking, University of Tampa and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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