Some brief thoughts, on the subject of this week's FOIAchat which is discussing the journalism (and J school) phenomenon of the "mass FOIA" or "FOIA audit", where a single request is broadcast to a myriad of organizations in the attempt to get a widespread response or to assess compliance.
The observation is that successful FOIA efforts are about building relationships with FOIA officers and clerks, and that a confrontative mass mailing campaign is not the way to necessarily build goodwill. The courteous approach would first attempt to establish personal communications outside of the FOIA process with each point of contact, and only then send the written correspondence.
Is being nice necessary? Of course not. But it may speed the process tremendously and get you out of the realm of confrontation - even if the requests are inherently contentous. You and the clerk both have incentives to play well together, especially if your requests are repeated, and the less friction in the relationship the faster everything happens.