Thursday, January 22, 2015

Caroline Lawton, Giant Slayer

My sister is a bit of a badass.

My sister is a hard-core badass.

This week Caroline posted an article that reported on a jacktard move by Hershey Corporation, intended to bully smaller businesses out of the market.  The article was good, and portrayed the David-and-Goliath scenario pretty well. 

But she followed up the posting with what might be the best letter I have ever read:
Dear Mr. Bilberry and Directors of the Board,  
I am writing you to ask you to stop your lawsuit against importers of British chocolates now and in the future. There is no confusion between your products and the British counterparts, in packaging or otherwise. I am an American who grew up on your brand, and I love all chocolates. Having gone to school in Pennsylvania, visited Hershey Park, and loved your chocolates for years, I consider myself part of your fan base. Having lived in London for several years, I occasionally have a craving for a specific chocolate, and go to specialty stores in order to obtain them (just as I went to American stores when I lived in London for the taste of 'home' with one of your chocolates.)     
If you continue to threaten and sue small businesses and keep them from importing a very different brand of goods, I will make it my mission to expose your bully tactics on every form of social media I can use.   
Please withdraw your lawsuits immediately. You are better than this.
Caroline Lawton 
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the way you tell a corporation off.  Note the perfect use of structure in her argument:

1. Bottom line up front (BLUF)
2. Logic of my request
3. What is at stake (my patronage)
4. Why I (personally) object
5. Demand
6. Threat
7. Restatement of BLUF

What a letter!  If I were a CEO of a company receiving a letter like that, I would drop the lawsuits immediately.  And send some chocolate to Caroline as a peace offering.

If you wish to attempt to improve on the perfection that is her letter, I would love to see YOUR text in the comments section.  The email addresses are replicated here:
Let's see what you can do.

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