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May 03, 2010


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I had the same reaction: (1.) Wow, a note from the editor, (2.) Check calendar, (3.) What the?!? (4.) Delete

You're right, Jeff. The tactic is as ineffective as it is tasteless.

I'm sorry, David, but I don't see this as any different from any number of promotional e-mails I've received from you and one of your former employers over the years. Maybe I've just become so used to the hustle, just as you described, but this did not shock or offend me in the least.

Well, I appreciate the candor, Robert, but I do believe there's a really bright line. I can't speak for everything my former employer has put out, but I do believe I have always observed an important line between hyperbole and trickery.

I wish I'd collected all the promos I've ever written and we could debate everyone of them. But if you ever receive something that I wrote (I write copy for Vital Speeches and other McMurry stuff) that you think is on the wrong side of the line, send it to me and let's hash it out right here!

I think it would be funny if 400 people all said, "Okay, I'm coming to the conference. When would you like to connect? Breakfast? Lunch? Cocktails? Dinner? How much time do you have for me? I'd like to connect for at least an hour to pick your brain about trends in PR, discuss some changes I think would improve your newsletter, and generally just get to know you a little better. Thanks for asking me to connect! Let's confirm a time as soon as possible, since I'm sure you're busy!"

Steve C.

I think that's a great plan, Steve. I got that same email (of course--I'm sure we all did). Let's just make a pact: next time she does that, we coordinate a response and write her back!

"A hint of the hustle" to describe good promotional material is brilliant. The reader's brain should infer the hustle, while the material itself contains no outright hustle.

Conference survival guide:
Pick conferences that many friends will be attending, and/or in spectacular city.
Attend no sessions.
Spend all time hanging out with friends, or tour spectacular city.
I can dream, can't I?

Yossi, what you describe is the way IABC International Conference USED to be. I haven't attended in years, but my friends who do attend say that the personal connections are largely absent these days, at least partly due to the rampant use of social media. Everyone has their heads buried and their thumbs furiously texting and don't notice the great opportunities for real connection in the hallways and hotel bars.

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