Dear Dan Hesse,
I read your complaints about the negativity of the local media in yesterday's Kansas City Business Journal. You're all snippy because in addition to going bonkers over each new gadget Sprint unveils, local media also write about the stuff that affects people who live here -- hello, layoffs?
You think that's unfair? It's your own damn fault.
Two years ago, when you came on as the company's new CEO, it seemed as though Sprint deserved a second look. I e-mailed you at email@example.com because that's what you suggested in those TV ads you starred in, looking all friendly and casual. I inquired as to whether you were really the one answering all those e-mails, and I asked for an interview. (Current ads, like the one where you're in the Nelson's Bloch building, no longer display an invite for e-mails.)
Here's the text of the reply I got on April 2, 2008, from Scott Sloat, with Sprint Corporate Communications, in Bethesda, Maryland:
Nadia -- Greetings. Dan got your email (yes the address is real) and asked me to follow-up with you on your request for an interview. Can you give me more specifics on your request (e.g. focus of your article, types of questions you anticipate asking, timing etc.)? As you can imagine Dan has received numerous requests for interviews and we are doing our best to accommodate as many as we can given his fairly busy schedule, so I can't make any promises. But if you get back to me I can see what I can do. Thanks ScottSounds reasonable, I thought.
In my same-day reply to Sloat, I explained that I wanted to profile you because your new ads signaled a profound change in direction for Sprint. I wrote that your arrival as CEO quite possibly meant that you were ushering in a new era of innovation for the company that, at heart, everyone in Kansas City wants to see succeed. I asked for just 30 minutes of your time.
Here's Sloat's response:
Nadia -- I wanted to get back to you about your interview request and story idea. We appreciate your interest and offering the opportunity. However, Dan's full schedule and focus on setting the direction of Sprint preclude us from accomodating your request at this time.So you see, Dan, I don't get your recent complaining about bad press locally, given that two-way communication -- something a telecommunications company ought to have some expertise in -- is impossible.