Peter Sellers

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.

We signed up for a six-day cruise from New York to Nassau, Bahamas, over Labor Day. Normally we are not cruise people unless the itinerary is fascinating. But a good offer came from Norwegian Cruise Line, and my wife, Peggy, took it. We knew it would be hurricane season, but we figured if a storm hit, the ship would go somewhere else. We could take a train to New York and avoid the hassle of flying (for a change).

On Aug. 13 and 14 we received a phone call and e-mail announcing a revision in the itinerary:

Due to unscheduled maintenance on the ship's propulsion system, Norwegian Spirit will cancel the call to Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas and instead overnight in Nassau, Bahamas. Please be assured that our technical issue in no way impacts the safe operation of the vessel.

We were given the option of canceling the cruise with no penalty. Those who opted to remain would receive a $50-per-cabin credit for any expenditure on shipboard excluding service charges and casino. OK.

On Aug. 29, two days before we sailed, word came via phone and e-mail that Tropical Storm Hanna was headed for the Bahamas and we would be detoured to Bermuda. OK.

What does this have to do with PR, pricing and marketing?

Plenty.

Note: Denny Hatch personally replies to all correspondence. Readers respond to “Last Prankster Standing,” published June 28,2006, that described the great British graffitist, Banksy. Another delightful column! May I share with you an office prank that I once pulled off? As it is about direct mail, you may find it of amusement. About 10 years ago I was an Account Executive for the Seattle-based Domain Group. I worked from home in Northern Virginia on accounts generally around Washington and up to New York. I visited Seattle about once a month, but only a few of the more than 150 agency employees knew me except that

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