How to get a superb result

A few weeks ago, a former intern who is currently a student at the University of North Carolina, asked me to email a letter of recommendation to a potential employer. The former intern was trying to get a sought-after internship with a TV station. Instead of writing a normal and boring "I would like to recommend...." letter, I wrote the DR copy below. I put myself in the shoes of the decision maker. My former intern got the interview then got the job. I did not help with the latter, but I helped with the former. Here's the email (with the name changed).

Dear (Decision Maker):

My name is Scott Martin. I was formerly the publisher of Ballantyne Magazine in south Charlotte. I am still involved in the area as a digital publisher.

I hired Denise as an intern two years ago; she worked for me for a summer.

Here are 18 reasons you should hire Denise as an intern.

1. She is very intelligent and will quickly grasp the requirements of the work you ask her to do. You will not have to spend much time and energy monitoring her.

2. She is a good writer; so, if you need her to write something, you will not have to spend much time editing the work. Her writing has improved (partly with my help!). I found her eager to learn and she takes direction and instruction well.

3. She is naturally curious and will help you find new angles for stories.

4. She knows Chapel Hill like the back of her hand so she will come up with story ideas from that part of the world.

5. She is a student at UNC so will come up with story ideas related to Chapel Hill.

6. Her father owns a business and is one of the top entrepreneurs in south Charlotte--so she understand business and can tackle some small business stories.

7. I gave her some "grunt" work which she took care of very successfully. So, if you have a project that's been nagging you for a while, give it to Denise and she'll take care of it.

8. She is hard-working--you can put a lot on her plate and she will devour it.

9. She understands all the technology and how technology is part of a student's life. You won't have to spend days training her to use your technology.

10. She will show up on time--not always a given these days.

11. If you need her to work on your website, I'm confident that she will be able to take care of that work and learn your technology quickly.

12. She is polite and professional and will represent you and the station very well with the public and with advertisers.

13. She understands understands direct response marketing. How? I made her read a book about direct response advertising and marketing.

14. I don't know what you pay interns but I'm confident that it's fair. For the money that you pay Denise, you will get tremendous value and she will enhance your station/operation and it will not blow up your budget.

15. She can work independently with no "baby sitting."

16. She has a sunny disposition and will make the workplace a happier place.

17. If you want her to work in the advertising part of the operation, she can work successfully there. If you want her to work on the content side, she will be excellent there as well.

18. You will enjoy working with Denise and having her around you will make your day more enjoyable.

Denise is young and learning and she does not know as much as someone who has been in the business for several years but she has a lot of potential. You will enjoy helping her launch her career.


For my direct response copywriting site, go to