Jay Leno

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 an era when just about everyone has a Facebook page, why did President Barack Obama, the Ford Motor Co. and Ian Somerhalder turn to the same person to manage their online voices? Oliver Luckett and his company, theAudience, are virtual producers, creating thousands of pieces of content per month: Facebook pages, videos, Twitter messages—just about anything with the potential to go viral. Luckett says old models of communication have lost influence; building original, shareable content is now the most valuable way to connect with people. And he argues that the same principles apply whether you’re campaigning for leader

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.

It’s a simple dictum: Get creative. And in the past it almost seemed like a luxury, partly because the numbers were on our side with the mass mailings. How much that will be the case in a troubled economy, however, remains to be seen. I just returned from an industry trip, where I gathered some answers. It was the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) 2008 show in Las Vegas, beginning Oct. 11, and it included attending the 2008 International ECHO Awards hosted by “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno at the Bellagio Las Vegas. Leno was passably funny, but he stuck to his usual

Amidst the opulence of the Bellagio and the wit of "The Tonight Show" host Jay Leno, direct marketing's most creative and strategic practitioners claimed victory at the 79th International ECHO Awards event. The big winner of the night was Spanish agency Shackleton, which nabbed the top prize of Diamond ECHO as well as a total of 11 Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.

In last Thursday’s edition of this e-zine about Jay Leno—and knowing how to communicate using different media—I failed to include a very important takeaway point: * Never trust a television studio. You never know when your mike is live and picking up your stupid comments, or the camera is on you while you are picking your nose—or both. Rev. Jesse Jackson, spiritual and moral adviser to President Bill Clinton—and a man who fathered a child out of wedlock, paid her $40,000 out of his nonprofit corporation and once referred to New York City as “Hymietown,” an anti-Semitic slur—is in the limelight once again.

It is high season for politicians scrambling for dollars. The Hillary Clinton juggernaut continues apace with a record $26 million in the till in the first quarter of 2007—over three times what any other candidate has ever raised at this point. Meanwhile, America is looking at the strangest election in history. By the end of January 2008, two states will have held their nominating caucuses for president and vice president (Iowa and Nevada) and two more states—New Hampshire and South Carolina—will have held their primaries. On Feb. 5, 2008, an estimated 21 additional states will hold primary elections including such behemoths as California, New

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