What Have We Learned From the Deranged Sorority Girl Email?

You’ve probably read the email by now, or at least watched one of the many parodies on  YouTube but, in case you haven’t, let’s quickly review how an email from now ex-sorority girl Rebecca Martinson made its debut on Gawker.com and rapidly made its way across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and even “Good Morning America.”


In the letter, Rebecca called out her sorority sisters’ inability to properly participate in “Greek Week” events, lambasting them—and heavily relying on expletives— for being awkward, boring, and socially inept,  among other things. When the former Delta Gamma member hit the “send” button, she probably didn’t imagine that her email would be read by more than just her chapter. The extremely demeaning note to her sisters quickly spread to the masses as the public was in sheer shock about the language used. Whether the letter left you entertained, appalled, or somewhere in between, I think there’s a lesson here about going viral.

No, I’m not suggesting that your business should write an angry email to a fellow employee or customer. But here are a few ingredients you may want to use when you cook up your next marketing campaign:

  • Add shock value – Without being offensive of course, shock your audience. Throw in something unexpected that they probably haven’t seen before like a unique video, a coveted freebie, or an attention-grabbing headline.
  • Use humor – Everyone loves a good laugh. Rebecca Martinson wasn’t aiming to please when she wrote the email, but she certainly got a few laughs.
  • Reflect the core values of your business – This is the most important point that this sorority girl missed the memo on. Many people who read the letter were probably left with an impression of not only Rebecca but of Delta Gamma as a whole. Be sure that each of your employees is able to accurately represent your company and brand it with the correct voice and values.

In a world as connected as ours, it’s important to remember that everything we say has the ability to travel to the world. Make sure that your message is one you want to share.

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