· "Hi. My name is (whatever), and I am calling from (a public relations firm), and I was calling to verify that you received the press release on (some event, health trend, new business, meaningless award, etc.)." The answer: If it was e-mailed to the address that has worked for the last year and a half, then yes, chances are I received it. If you faxed it, then get out of the '80s and join us in this millennium. If you snail-mailed it ... find a new profession. Please.
· "I am a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian or a member of some group/organization, and the party/group/organization just encouraged me to write a letter to the editor of my local newspaper. Should I?" The answer: Oh lord please no. Most newspaper editors would rather shave their embarrassing body hair in public than run a letter from you. Specifically, in our case, if you have a letter on an important local topic that's been covered in the Weekly, by all means, send it. But there's no chance in hell we're going to run a letter about what a great guy John Kerry is just because the Democratic Party sent you an e-mail and told you to write your local paper. Don't be a lemming, OK?
· "I am offended by Ted Rall/Boondocks/Dan Savage/Tom Danehy/Film Times, and I demand that you stop running it." The answer: No. If it offends you, don't read it. If you're really bothered, hire a public relations firm, and have them snail-mail me. OK?