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.

Being a macho mass-produced product was a positive attribute when it reassured consumers they would get quality and consistency. Now quality is no longer a differentiator (you don’t have it, you’re the weakest link, good-by). Being big is now seen as a negative. It connotes arrogance and selfishness. All marketers need to act small. That means you, up there. —excerpted from “Punk Marketing,” (Collins, March 2007, $25.95) by Richard Laermer and Mark Simmons; for more

Marketers can use their own good upbringing (e.g., honesty in front of the cookie jar) as a way to stand out from thine enemy, by noting that the other guys have bad habits that get in the way of their being open to their customers (who should be yours). —excerpted from “Punk Marketing,” (Collins, March 2007, $25.95) by Richard Laermer and Mark Simmons; for more

Consumers are tired of not being told the truth in marketing, and since they can see it clearly themselves, all marketing that does not pass muster is summarily ignored. (Yes, we like Dijon, too.) To win back consumer trust, marketers need to be clear and honest about their products—no exceptions, thank you. All disclaimers must be avoided. Rid ye of what is called mouseprint, before it gets rid of ye. —excerpted from “Punk Marketing,” by Richard Laermer and Mark Simmons (Collins, March 2007, $25.95); for more

User-generated content, or UGC, has been one of the hottest trends, and thus, buzzwords in recent years. Part media revolution and part marketing innovation, UGC takes the form of customer product reviews, blogs and sites that allow participants to share images, videos and text (think MySpace, YouTube). Not long ago, at least one of these media forms would have been alien to the masses. Now, UGC is fast becoming commonplace. And that means it’s time for the next acronym. Let’s call it UGP, which stands for user-generated product. (I have no hopes that this term will stick, but seeing that the only catchphrase for this

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