-by Sir Bartholomew Hightower, Director, SCA, Inc.
Sir Bartholomew Hightower is a member of the Board of Directors for the SCA, Inc. and is the ombudsperson responsible for the he East, Atlantia, Middle, Heraldry, Peerage, and Census. He lives in the Kingdom of Artemisia. He can be reached at email@example.com.
We’ve all had that feeling. What are they *doing* in Milpitas? Something needs to be done, and done quickly. Are they nuts?
So you screw up your courage, limber up your typing fingers, and get ready to give the Board a piece of your medieval mind.
One of the things I was pleased to learn when I became a Board member was that all of the letters that get sent to the Board via firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com are actually read by the directors, and they often influence what the directors do. After a recent letter writing avalanche, I noted which letters were more likely to affect my thinking on a subject. As a result, I have a few pointers that might help you deliver your message more effectively to me and the other Board members:
* Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org rather than the directors email list. It still comes right to us, and the reply-to field on that list is set to reply to the sender, so it makes it easier to respond to you.
* Choose a simple subject directly related to the topic. Because spam generators are so good, real letters to the Board are often classified as junk, so we’ve become accustomed to looking through our spam folders for actual letters from the membership. Having a good subject line greatly helps in this.
* Include your mundane and SCA names. Including your membership number is a nice touch if you have it and are inclined to share.
* Tell us a little about yourself so that we can put your letter in the context of your experience. We are just as interested to hear from newly-minted members as we are from the multi-peeraged, but your letter will make more sense if we know something about you. Please don’t list all your awards; we don’t know what they all are. Something like “I’ve been in the SCA for two years and I’ve just received my AoA” will do just fine.
* Brevity is the soul of wit. After a few paragraphs, I start searching for the spot where you finally get to the point. Keep your paragraphs organized, and avoid long, rambling stories.
* Reasoned and respectful letters will get more play than invective-filled one-sided rants.
* Summarize what you think we should do. Chances are that we’ve already thought of the same approach, or something like it, but it’s always good to know someone else is thinking along the same lines.
We try to reply to letters, but it’s difficult when we get into the realm of email campaigns. We still read them, and we often discuss the better ones.
So keep ‘em coming. Having this direct line of communication with the members keeps us working for the membership and focused on helping create a fun, safe, and rewarding experience for all of us.