Thursday, January 6, 2011

Corporate Communications: Writing for Fierce Bitches 101

Today's assignment: Write a letter expressing concern or dissatisfaction, and suggesting a solution.

The long form:

David Raith
USFS Executive Director

Dear Mr. Raith:

I am so pleased that Johnny Weir, the 2010 Readers' Choice Award/Michelle Kwan Trophy winner, is expected to be presented with this award at the upcoming US Figure Skating National Championships at the end of this month. I am especially looking forward to seeing him receive the trophy for the second time in his career, since he is the only skater other than Michelle herself to ever win the award more than once.

My research indicates that the award is usually presented during the "USFS Skating Spectacular," the gala exhibition that concludes each year's National Championships. However, thus far neither Johnny nor the presentation of the award to him are listed on the schedule of events, which indicates that the exhibition will be televised live on January 30. It would certainly be most exciting to see Johnny receive the award during the broadcast. I know that the majority of his fan base--which spans the globe, numbers in the hundreds of thousands, and far exceeds that of any other figure skater in the world--would certainly want to tune in to watch.

We'd also love to see Johnny skate in the exhibition, of course. Which would seem fitting since, as the people's choice, he would be performing for, in fact, the people. You know, the ones who voted for him to win, and whose dollars help fund USFS.

And, since it is due at least in part to Johnny's tireless efforts to promote the sport he loves, at every opportunity available to him, that US figure skating is still alive and breathing--albeit with a troublesome hacking chest cough--it would seem USFS might want to acknowledge Johnny as the beloved international ambassador of the sport that he is by featuring a performance by him in the exhibition on television. As I'm sure you must know, there is no greater viewership draw in figure skating than Johnny Weir.

However, it is my understanding that the exhibition performances traditionally are limited to those skaters who are currently competing this season and who are among the top three finishers in their discipline at Nationals. Since Johnny has taken this year off from competing, and since, based on its reputation as a stickler for "rules are rules," USFS is clearly unwilling to choose to modify its own rules even when it is in its best interests to do so, I can regretfully understand that USFS would, of course, limit the exhibition to the skaters defined above.

So you can imagine my surprise when I learned that Evan Lysacek had been invited to skate in the exhibition.

Yes, I am aware that Evan was awarded the Olympic gold medal last year. I also am aware that, according to this article, his performance is apparently part of the promotional effort for the movie RISE. (The article also indicates that, contrary to the schedule, the exhibition will be taped for broadcast on NBC February 5, not televised live.)

But, in any case, Evan, like Johnny, is not competing this year. So obviously he will not be among the medalists at 2011 Nationals. And therefore he does not meet the criteria established for a skater to perform in the exhibition. (Interestingly, there were TWELVE Olympic gold medalists at last year's exhibition. None of them performed.)

I am profoundly curious as to why suddenly rules are no longer rules, or why they suddenly can be applied so whimsically to this skater, but not to that skater.

I would like to think that USFS is not so completely tone-deaf and out of touch that it cannot anticipate the potential for this inequality to become an extremely shrill and strident PR disaster in the barely two weeks left before Nationals.

At a time when the sport of figure skating continues to lose fans--while Johnny Weir continues to gain them daily--USFS's inability to highlight the contributions of both Johnny Weir and Evan Lysacek to the sport by featuring either both of them--or neither of them--in the exhibition is unbelievably shortsighted.

USFS could, in fact, simply choose to do the right thing here--unfettered by corporate interests or sponsors who may or may not think that their gold allows them to make rules to suit their own agendas.

I might also suggest that USFS consider a new rule: Each year, the winner of the Readers' Choice Award is welcome to perform in the exhibition at which he or she receives the award. Starting now.

I look forward to seeing whether USFS lives down to my expectations once again--or surprises me by living up to the ideals to which its athletes aspire, and which are embodied in and lived out so well by Johnny Weir.

The short form:

Dear Mr. Raith:



Evan? But not Johnny?



Prove me wrong.


Get ready for a glorious explosion of glitter:
WeirDate JohnnyWeir 11, 2011,
is less than one week from today!
Finally, the release of both
Welcome to My World and "Dirty Love"!
Check Johnny's website for upcoming book tour dates!

Designer T. Rains and Johnny have teamed up to raise money and awareness for The Trevor Project! This organization is "determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources." Proceeds from the "Army of One" t-shirt sales will go to The Trevor Project foundation. Order yours today! Your support is greatly appreciated!
For more information, please visit

Yes! You can own a fine art print of Johnny
perfect for any/every room in the house!
Prints of artist Peter Jurik's "Showtime!"
are available for purchase from his website.
More info here!

Special thanks to Mel Lockhart for the phrases,
"Happy New Weir" and "JohnnyWeir 11, 2011."
You rock, Mel!

Please remember to
register to receive
the JW Art Project's email newsletter!
They have great tidbits to offer,
and you get a special sneak peek at an exclusive photo
from the Artbook when you sign up!

copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Anonymous said...

Short form:



germansoulmate said...

Long form....very good. I consider to copy that and send another mail to Mr. Raith. And of course, I will twitter what it is worth, or at least retweed what it is worth...even if I won´t have the joy of watching Johnny live. Alas, that´s life and we have to deal with what is given to us.

Short form...LOLOLOLOL...*laughingmya**off*

Pic....I want some of this right now. Traver should be made the regular photographer of Johnny. I´m still speechless.

Great blog.

PumaJ said...

Binx...I'm with Trish about the short form:-)

Burning question. Did you send either letter?

julie98 said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Excellent job, as usual!!!!

WheresMyKoppy said...

I read the long form letter and was thinking how well written it was and I started thinking to myself, I wonder if she really sent this letter? Then I read the short form and I laughed out loud! LOL!

Misfit Mimes said...

To all who asked: Yes. I did in fact email the long form today to Mr. Raith, and to six of his colleagues at USFS. Because there's nothing I love more than enthusiastically tilting at windmills on behalf of Johnny. :D

Princess Johnny-Love ♥ said...

Dear Binky,

I love you!

You are freaking brilliant!



PumaJ said...

Mazel tov, Binx! Nice work:-)

Maggie St. said...

Less IS more!!

SO tempted to send in the short version. Would serve them right.

Less fear, MORE WEIR!! ♥♥♥