Meg Whitman

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.

EBay on Sunday initiated a massive push against imminent Federal sales tax legislation after the online marketplace’s Chief Executive John Donahoe emailed millions of the company’s users lobbying for support. The San Jose, Calif., company has reportedly already sent tens of millions of emails urging its active U.S. sellers to push for changes to the bill known as the Marketplace Fairness Act. The legislation would ultimately allow all states to collect sales tax from online merchants, whether they have operations in that state or not. The e-commerce giant plans to send emails from Donahoe to at least 40 million eBay

HP just achieved a major milestone: It's become the first company to attract 1 million followers on LinkedIn. But these 1 million followers represent much more than a number. They are an invaluable asset to HP. They form a targeted community where HP is communicating with the specific professionals who matter to their business, in real time. Given that this communication is happening in the professional context of LinkedIn, where professionals are actively seeking insights and information and where influencers like HP’s CEO Meg Whitman are directly sharing their expertise, it’s an engagement channel that can’t be replicated elsewhere.

Marissa Mayer, one of the top executives at Google, will be the next CEO of Yahoo, making her one of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley and corporate America. The appointment of Ms. Mayer, who was employee No. 20 at Google and was one of the few public faces of the company, is considered a surprising coup for Yahoo, which has struggled in recent years to attract top flight talent in its battle with competitors like Google and Facebook. Ms. Mayer, 37, had for years been responsible for the look and feel of Google’s most popular products

Big company CEOs are virtually invisible on social media sites. They’re not on Facebook, not on Twitter, not on Google+, not on Pinterest—they’re barely even on LinkedIn. These findings are just crazy to me on so many levels. More than half the U.S. population has eagerly embraced sites like Facebook and more than a third are using Twitter, yet only 7.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs have bothered to jump on Facebook, and just 4 percent have opened Twitter accounts. All in, 70 percent of big company CEOs have no presence on social networks. I know this thanks …

If the 2008 election was about hope and change, the 2010 mid-term campaign, judging by its direct mail, was mostly focused on anger. That's the most obvious takeaway based on a review of the fundraising appeals and campaign fliers that we've seen during the year. Whether directed at President Obama, or at Congressional leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, this emotional touchpoint dominated political mail like it hasn't since the days of Bill Clinton.

I’m a see guy not a hear guy.

I write better than I talk.

Expressing myself on the phone is difficult while e-correspondence is a breeze. I’m good at it; I get to the point; I don’t waste people’s time.

Nothing drives me crazier than the voice-mail jail that certain organizations have instituted. They start with the following recorded message:

“Your call is important to us …”

Whereupon I am given a world-class runaround of confusing choices—all recorded—that takes me further and further into the corporate labyrinth. One wrong choice and I am sent back to “GO.” Finally I get:

“All our representatives are currently busy … However, your call is important to us …”

What that message is really saying: “We’re having happy hour here in India and you are a big fat pain in the ass.”

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