Maya Angelou

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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

Even President Barack Obama messed up the quote right in front of Maya Angelou. Then first lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey took the stage Tuesday, right in front of the "Forever" stamp and its quote during the U.S. Postal Service's issuance ceremony. If that can happen, it seems as though the USPS could almost be given a pass for misattributing Angelou. But not from the Internet.

Call it learning from others' mistakes. Call it schadenfreude. Whatever marketers call it, iMedia Connection dubs it "Destructive Marketing Habits of Major Brands." That's the headline for Kyle Montero's article on what not to do in marketing.

The Beygency may have started as an Andrew Garfield/"Saturday Night Live" sketch, but it’s very much alive and well in most people. When politics and literature icon Maya Angelou passed away, many celebrities used their Twitters to express their sadness over the great loss. Beyoncé was not among them, which might have come as a bit of a surprise to anyone who knows what an inspiration Angelou has been to Queen Bey. In December 2013, Beyoncé released a “feminist fragrance” called Rise, her third fragrance, which was reported at the time to be inspired by the Maya Angelou poem “Still

Technology experts and sentiment analysis software developers are claiming that we can now infer people's feelings by analyzing big data. It's based on what we say in social media. As direct marketers, we know our copy and content are most successful when we tap into the emotions and lift the feelings of our customers and prospects that motivate them to

What does Ancient Greek and Shakespearean storytelling have to do with direct marketing today? Perhaps more than you realize. Today we dissect a proven five-step process that has been used for centuries to hold the reader to the end of a story. Direct marketers can use this timeless framework to write compelling copy for

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.

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