Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

I Don’t Know Why You Say Hello

Friday, March 8th, 2013

So I was all, like, I haven’t blogged in a week; maybe I should blog, and then I looked at my blog, and I was like, What the horking who? I haven’t blogged in three weeks? (Give or take.) How is that possible?

But I know how. I had a work thing happen. A work thing that was essentially:

  1. Exciting new project!
  2. Scribble scribble scribble scribble!
  3. Turn it in cross fingers hope for best!
  4. Client not happy! Client opposite of happy!
  5. OMG freak out wish I could explain not really my fault! Bad direction! No direction!
  6. Anyway doesn’t matter scramble scramble scramble scramble!
  7. Pant pant stress stress don’t sleep write write!
  8. Client very happy! Client immensely happy! Client loves!
  9. But meanwhile other projects! Many other projects!
  10. And edits from client! Always more edits!

And so on. I don’t know what’s happening with the San Francisco economy, but have I ever had more work? Possibly not. I’ve had to turn away more projects in the last few weeks than I want to count. Let’s leave it at: lots. Many words are going unwritten by me! And many dollars are going unearned! Although I am managing to fold other money into the nest—quite literally, since the house is what eats up most of the funds these days.

Anyway, work is officially on hold for a week. Because on Sunday, we’re headed to Ashland to be with and help and love one of my closest friends, who is recovering from a very, very shitty 6 months of cancer. I can’t wait to see her. Beam us away, Honda Element!

Just Kids

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Readers, I have what John would call a bazillion amount of work right now. Which is good! But not for le blog.

Briefly, I’ll mention that I’ve been reading Patti Smith’s memoir, and what I am most struck by is her relationship with art. She is so clear on what art means to her, and what an artist is, and art flows from her without, it seems,  prompting or prodding. Which—where did that come from, given her seemingly banal suburban upbringing? (Where does it ever come from, I suppose?)

I am moved, too, that Smith holds art in such high regard. I would say that it’s her religion, but she also seems to have a religion, a connection with the sacred that is both personal and deep.

I’m only about halfway through, and the book is lagging a little; at the beginning it was almost breathtakingly sparkly. But I’ll keep going. I’m waiting to discover how she writes about Mapplethorpe’s death, since on the radio her emotional presence was stunning.

Transcription Fail

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Just came across the following in an interview I’m using for a marketing piece:

Q: Okay, so let’s paint a scenario where—

A: Penis scenario?

Q: Yeah, let’s penis scenario where you often meet with your Creative Director—

A: I met with Greg this morning.


Let me think kinda hard.

Okay, I don’t think anyone in this corporate interview said “penis scenario.”

Just a hunch.

The Art of the Surprising Cover Letter

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

I’m a believer in the unconventional cover letter. Partly, I get to be, because I’m a writer, and the hirer is seeking written competence; creativity matters. But I think any good cover letter, for any position, should be both lively and memorable. These people are sorting through hundreds of letters, all of a type. They’re weary. They’re bored. Their eyes are googly with jargon. Entertain them, and they’ll be grateful.

Here are the first few paragraphs of a cover letter I just submitted to Underground Advertising, a company that develops smart, funny campaigns for non-profits:

Hello, Underground.

I’m in love with you.

At least, I love what you do. And if I believed in killing, I’d kill to be a part of it. I’m an irony-loving copywriter who’s been itching to get into the non-profit ad world for, basically, ever. When I found your site, it was true love. Or at least, it was a whole lot of very positive projection.

There’s another paragraph or two, very short, about what I do, including links to my website. (If they check the blog, they’ll read this. Hello, Underground. Call me.) Because I also believe in brevity. If they want more, they know how to click.

In this market, I don’t expect a response. But I do hope for one. And now, at least, they have a little piece of who I am.

Postprandial: Not a Marketing Word

Monday, June 15th, 2009

There are words, and then there are marketing words.

Several years ago, I was working with a Marketing Director on a direct-mail piece. The product: a dog leash with a photo on it (of you, of your dog, whatever). His copy: “Perfect for a postprandial walk.”

I mean.

Marketing is not about vocabulary—unless you’re pitching high, say to academics or to other people with a tendency toward pretension. But vocab can be useful in other genres—film criticism, for example. Although my editor at New Times, who is a lovely person and I miss working with him (Hey, Erich!), would almost never let me get away with a zinger. He allotted me 2-3 SAT words every six months. He hated “echt.” He had strong negative feelings toward “echt.” “Ersatz” he looked a little more kindly upon.

“This is not The New Yorker,” he would say.

“It should be,” I would say back. After all, what’s wrong with making people look up a word or two?

Erich. You killed me. I am dead now.

I love unusual and sophisticated language. (Yes, I am one of those people with a tendency toward pretension.) But for marketing? That ain’t happening.