I’ve been digging through a stack of mail and paper on my desk, sorting it into READ NOW, READ LATER, FILE, and CHUCK piles. I find that I often judge a letter by its envelope. Once inside–if I make it that far–I often judge the person or company by the letterhead.
Before it even delivers its message, business stationery acts as a billboard that advertises the style and character of the sender. The billboard can demand attention–or it can go unnoticed. With so much paper on everyone’s desk, businesspeople have to do a marketing job just to get their letters noticed and read.
In this age of computerized mass mailings, it’s amazing how much a personal touch stands out. For example, I recently got a handwritten note saying, Read the rest of this entry »
The world of cellular communications has come a long way since the days of $3,000-to-$5,000 car phones. Gone are service charges stiff enough to prompt humorist Howard Stern to remark that Donald Trump’s famous $475,000-a-month allowance was “almost enough to pay his car-phone bills.” Today, cellular phones actually provide affordable communications.
Everything is different now. Instead of car phone, think briefcase or pocket phone. Instead of $5,000, think $500 or even $50. And instead of paying an arm and a leg for service, think of fingers and toes: still painful, but worth it to anyone who values time at more than minimum wage.
WHAT IS CELLULAR?
The concept of a nation linked by point-to-point wireless communication came to the attention of many in the nightmarish James Coburn movie The President’s Analyst, which revealed an Orwellian Ma Bell plot to implant phones in everyone’s brain.
Today’s pocket phones represent a communications model that is far less invasive in terms of privacy, not to mention surgery. Think of it as a consumer version of Dick Tracy’s two-way Read the rest of this entry »
The story of the Japanese sack of China and Southeast Asia, its treatment of Western prisoners of war, its hegemonic ideology, cries out for retelling. Not to do so–to dwell extravagantly on the dropping of the atomic bombs and to all but ignore the character of the Japanese regime that brought war in the Pacific–would be the equivalent of discussing the end of the European war by dwelling on the bombing of Dresden while saying little about the Nazi regime.
Yet that is what happened. Public and commercial television all but ignored the end of the Pacific war. Neither the editorial nor the op-ed columns of The New York Times marked what was, for the hundreds of millions of people of East Asia, a far more momentous event than the dropping of the atomic bombs. True, aging American vets staged lackluster marches and ceremonials. And a few of their more verbal comrades–James Read the rest of this entry »
Reports that former Labour leader Tony Blair is prepared to drop his opposition to electoral reform for the House of Commons and embrace the alternative vote (AV) system have been widely welcomed by the reform lobby. Even the Liberal Democrats, who advocate the single transferable vote (STV) system of proportional representation, are enthusiastic, saying that the apparent move towards AV indicates that Labour thinking is in a promising state of flux.
And, indeed, the reports do suggest that Blair might be in the process of changing his mind in the right direction. After Labour’s 1992 general election defeat, when pressure from within the party for electoral reform was at its height – with an increasingly vocal lobby arguing for the German-style additional member Read the rest of this entry »
People are busy. Private industry Understands that reality. It has responded with computerized customer service strategies that offer the consumer expanded service options. Service strategies are designed to function 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they give the customer the power to proactively consume goods and services. Some examples are online banking and World Wide Web catalog sites which allow non-stop shopping in virtual malls.
If the past is any indicator, government customer service strategies will catch up to the private sector in five to ten years. We can quicken that pace by rethinking the election process and implementing online customer service delivery strategies that will make it easier for voters to consume election information and voter services.