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Category Archives: Everything else

How to transcribe speech from a web page

[UPDATE: Unfortunately, Google has disabled the ability described below to transcribe audio from a web page. Now you get an alert to attach a microphone and record from that. Playing audio over your computer, or playing a recorded message from your phone, doesn’t work. Unclear if this is a deliberate move to limit the program […]

Choice Hotels loses a customer

It was Parents Weekend in Amherst, MA where our son is going to school. We were late in finding a hotel and did not realize when we reserved for that the Quality Inn in Chicopee was over 30 minutes away on a dark, winding,  back road. We arrived intact and politely told the desk clerk that […]

Attend a “Creative Town Hall Meeting” in Monday afternoon Ignition Session on October 17

Are you coming to the DMA’s annual conference in Los Angeles next week? Then make plans to attend my Ignition session, “The Devil in the Details,” at 4 pm on Monday the 17th. It promises to be a repeat of a highly successful and well-attended session last year in which creatives shared their pet peeves […]

LinkedIn says: Congratulate Otis on his new position!

Last month LinkedIn asked me to update my profile. I did so, and the next day got a flood of emails congratulating me on my new position, as “copywriter” at a client I haven’t worked for since 2014. One person was miffed because I had recently told her I had no availability for new work… […]

Donald Duck is my spirit animal

I took one of those stupid online quizzes and was told my spirit animal was the deer: “When you have the deer as spirit animal, you are highly sensitive and have a strong intuition. By affinity with this animal, you have the power to deal with challenges with grace. You master the art of being […]

You can’t hide in social media

Over the last few months I’ve been involved in two situations which could not have happened before the advent of social media. A friendly acquaintance had made a commitment (in one case to do something, in the other to look into it) and I emailed at the appropriate time to remind them about it. There […]

Free marketing advice from Warby Parker

The other day I was on a plane and got in a conversation with my seat mate. When she found out I worked as an advertising guy she told me her husband designed neckwear and wanted to sell his ties via the internet. What free marketing advice did I have? My first thought was, uh oh. Fashion is a […]

DMA &Then 2016… I’ll be back

I’ve been asked to repeat my Ignition session at this year’s annual Direct Marketing Association conference, which will take place in Los Angeles. My slot is Monday October 17, 4:00-4:45 PM. Titled (for legacy reasons too complex to go into here) “Devilish Details: Looking for an Advantage in Your Copy and Design”, it’s essentially an […]

How to turn your life insurance policy into a cash machine

I don’t know how many of my readers this will apply to, but it’s too good not to share. I got an alarming notice from my insurance company the other day that the premiums are going to increase on my universal life policy and I should consider increasing the premium payments. If you don’t have […]

Why copywriting is like fixing a hole in the wall

I live in a 135-year-old house with lath and plaster walls. I have two teenage boys. Thus, I have a lot of opportunity to patch holes in those walls. Recently I’ve gotten a lot better than this, and it occurred to me there are lessons that apply to copywriting or any repetitive artisanal task. Originally […]

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