Creative Corner: Words of Wisdom
This May, I flew to New York to attend a memorial for my old friend and international direct marketing expert Al Goodloe, who died in February.
Al, a little guy with a gravelly voice, was one of a kind. He was one of the nicest men I ever met, but he could be a mule. For instance, he was from Virginia and his dad expected him to attend the University of Virginia, like everyone else in the family. But Al set his sights on Harvard, and that’s where he went. After he graduated, Al wanted to be in New York, and that’s where he wound up.
He found his niche in the rarefied air of international direct marketing with a special emphasis on publishing. He worked hard at it, and even was planning a new electronic newsletter at the time he fell ill.
I met Al many years ago when I was working as head of the book group at Boardroom Reports, and Al was president of the Alexander Hamilton Institute—a company that sold publications internationally. I thought it would be a good idea to promote some of our books in his mailings—at the time no one else had a clue how to do international mailings—so I called him and we hit it off right away.
Here are a few good lessons I learned over the years from Al.
1. Creative people need fresh air.
Al’s preferred time for a business meeting was lunch—anywhere in midtown Manhattan with decent food would do. So we lunched and talked about direct marketing creative. He was fascinated by the hard-hitting copy style in Boardroom’s mailings, and in the first of hundreds of lunches, he grilled me about it. When we talked about what worked and why, he became intensely focused. Perhaps best of all, the only interruption at lunch was a waiter asking if we’d like more bread.