Denny's Daily Zinger: The P.R. Value of Christmas Cards
Whenever comedian Red Skelton did a live stand-up gig, he would dutifully get the names and addresses of the local committee members and dignitaries involved.
Back at his hotel, Skelton would write personal notes to each on Christmas cards and address the envelopes. Then in early December, he would mail them. The result: thrilled townspeople and repeat engagements.
The Obamas' Conundrum
When Barack and Michelle Obama got to the White House in 2009, they were flush with the success of victory.
They were also basking in the good wishes and love of the American majority who voted for them (52.9 percent of the electorate).
That December, they posed for a warm, fuzzy family Christmas card in front of the White House. Included were Mom and Pop Obama, the two daughters and Bo, the Portuguese water dog given them by Teddy Kennedy.
That first term was rough. President Obama hoped to be a conciliator, but he discovered a huge percentage of the country deeply resented him. In 2014, he admitted to David Remnick of The New Yorker:
There's no doubt that there's some folks who just really dislike me because they don't like the idea of a black President.
Merry Christmases From the Obamas
The Obamas "got it." No more stirring the racial pot with a Christmas photo of African-Americans on the White House lawn.
[Click on the thumbnail in media player at right for the 2008 and subsequent holiday greetings from the First Family.]
Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His next book will be "WRITE EVERYTHING RIGHT!" Visit him at dennyhatch.com or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.