Erin Brockovich

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 dennyhatch.com.

In April 13's "Direct Mail Testing in 2010 — Copy, Offer, Lists, Formats, Personalization and More" webinar, we heard from two prominent direct marketers — Grant Johnson, president of Johnson Direct and author of "Fairytale Marketing," and Steve Cuno, chairman of Response Agency and author of "Prove It Before You Promote It." Both have rosters of big and small clients that still test, and both discussed why testing is more important than ever in the current climate.

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.

Think Before You Act Feb. 2, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 9 IN THE NEWS Multimedia Launch of 'Bubble' Gets Mixed Response An experiment in launching a movie almost simultaneously in the cinema, on cable television and on DVD attracted few theater-goers, although the film has done well in DVD orders, according to its makers. —Sarah McBride, The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 30, 2006 In the film world, the time-honored sequence for release of a new movie is theater distribution first, followed by DVDs for purchase and rental, and finally presentation on cable or network TV. "Bubble" is a low-budget thriller directed by

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