Rachel Oliver, a grad of our first Bootcamp recently sent an email out to the entire 38 Degrees List. We talked to her to find out what she learned!
CtK: How did it feel putting together an email to send to the entire 38D list with your name on it?
RO: It was certainly a bit scary! As new interns, one of our first tasks was to write an email to the membership introducing ourselves and asking members to consider donating to 38 Degrees. So it was a collaborative process for all the interns, which was a really nice way to start working together. It just happened that my name went to the majority of members after we tested a couple of versions. I felt excited for my friends and family to get the email - it was a nice surprise for them. And I was happy it mentioned I’m from Northumberland, as 38 Degrees members come from far and wide, and it’s nice to connect with that. I think we all pressed the send button together and had a few butterflies, but it was a whole-team effort, so along with our nervous excitement we felt really well supported.
CtK: What have been the biggest learnings for you in good email writing?
RO: I’ve learned lots of small lessons about writing that have hopefully added up to bigger improvements in my writing style. The hardest thing is trying to unlearn the habits of school/university-style writing where we tend to use long sentences and overcomplicate language. Email writing now is about producing natural, accessible language that flows easily when spoken aloud. It’s about striking a balance between grammatical accuracy and how you might explain something to a friend. Reading things like George Orwell and Caitlin Moran have helped with this - language doesn’t have to be sophisticated to be impactful; in fact it’s more effective when it’s uncomplicated and honest.
CtK: Did you have some memorable responses to your email? (Nice ones preferably, but funny ones welcome too!)
RO: There was a real range of responses but the vast majority were warm and positive. There was some nice northern solidarity and some lovely intergenerational support - people with strong belief in the 38 Degrees project and the idea of paid internships. One of my favourites was someone who - having received an email with a picture of the five interns - said they were pleased to see SClub 7 were reforming! There was also some interaction with Queen singer Brian May - my all-time favourite band! - so that had me bouncing with excitement with a huge grin on my face for days!
CtK: Anything else you’d like Bootcampers to know?
RO: Bootcamp rocks. Let’s all keep working together to make it the best it can be, and to make our sector the most effective and awesome one out there. A lot of love to all xxx