Alan Penchansky was one of the toughest and best bosses I’ve ever had. He ripped my writing apart. He smashed everything I wrote; my emails, press releases and fact sheets – I think he even ripped the missed call messages I left on his desk. He taught me to value every word; each word should advance the piece closer to the finish line. Every single word was life and death! He was right.
He spent hours helping me write client emails, I appreciate that. The art of writing clear and concise emails is lost on the masses. Every email should quickly get to the point, advance the agency-client relationship and end with a call-to-action.
Less is more and eliminating clutter was very important at The Pen Group. My writing was okay back then, I think it’s getting better, but I still have a long way to go. At the time I hated those editing sessions with Mr. Penchansky, he was candid with his disapproval. Similar to the football coaches I had at Odessa Permian in Odessa, Texas; his grooming was of the “tough love” variety.
I only lasted a year at The Pen Group, I wasn’t ready, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” I wish I could have him destroy my writing now – he would make it better.
The best bosses are great teachers.
About Alan Penchansky
Founder Alan Penchansky’s public relations career spans three decades and includes advising technology industry leaders such as: Steve Case of America Online, Gerry Levin of Time Warner, Larry Ellison of Oracle Corporation, Akio Morita of Sony Corporation and John Warnock of Adobe Systems Inc.
Prior to founding the Pen Group, Alan was senior vice president at Edelman Public Relations Worldwide where he built the new media practice. Earlier, he was vice president at Geltzer & Co, where his clients included Sony Corporation of America, Motorola and PolyGram Records. Prior to Geltzer, Alan served as an editor and reporter at Billboard magazine where he chronicled the growing impact of computers on the music, video and entertainment industries.