Bruce Jenner

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

When I saw that the 2008 rate for a speech by Larry Summers was $45,000 to $135,000, I got to thinking.

Out of curiosity, I started prowling the various Web sites of speakers' bureaus and came to six conclusions:

  1. It seems everybody in the world is available for speeches. Included are political and show business stars, second and third bananas, and hundreds upon hundreds of people I never heard of.
  2. All of these people—luminaries and nobodies—get fees from $1,000 to $1 million, plus expenses.
  3. I used to make a lot of speeches, and all I ever got was expenses and a plaque with my name engraved on it.
  4. I was a damned fool. I was as much a nobody as anybody else and could've picked up some dough if I'd just asked.
  5. If someone invites you to make a speech, think about asking for an honorarium at the very least, if not a fat fee, plus expenses. For Colin Powell, expenses include a private jet along with his $100,000 fee.
  6. The worst that can happen is that no money in the budget exists for fees or expenses. If you refuse, someone will replace you.

One of the most innovative uses of a live check in a direct mailing comes from the nonprofit organization, Help Hospitalized Veterans, which supplies craft kits to hospitalized veterans to help with their rehabilitation and to make their stays more enjoyable. If we count the prior versions of this package—and we will—this mailing qualifies as an Axel Andersson Award winner, after being in the mail since at least 1999. The most recent version we received is a #10 envelope package that puts to good use the advantages of inline production with multiple instances of personalization (604HEHOVE0801). For starters, the four-page letter

More Blogs