Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Marketing Tips for the Administration

Time to do some marketing, Mr. President. (And you Congressional Democrats.)

Run a series of ads spotlighting the individual Americans who are benefiting from the stimulus package. Let the people speak for themselves about their jobs and how their lives have changed as a result.

Run a series of ads spotlighting the various projects across the country that have been funded by the stimulus package. Let the project/site manager and/or the people working on the project speak.

Include a counter in the corner that ticks away, rolling up the numbers of how many jobs have been created -- just keep it ticking away, still going as each ad ends (to show it's an ongoing process).

Stop ceding this ground to the Republicans and TeaBaggers. You can win the battle for people's hearts and minds.

Stop telling everyone what you're doing and the impact it's had on people's lives -- show us. Over and over and over again. On TV. On the radio. Online.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Time Zones

I grew up in southwestern Ohio. It’s in the western end of the Eastern Standard Time zone, along with most of Indiana. On early summer nights, it would stay light out quite late and we’d be out in the back yard in our pajamas, catching fireflies before bedtime. I remember thinking how wonderful it was to be running around in the soft evening air, looking for the intermittent flashes of light in the darkest corners of the lawn.

Now I live on the north shore of Boston, which lies at the eastern end of the time zone. And although I have lived in this area for over 25 years, the morning light still surprises me. On these early summer days, it starts to get light over the marsh at around 4:30AM. The cats begin to stir around 5:30; the birds are already fussing and twittering. The cats want their breakfast. I fend them off as long as I can, but invariably I end up getting up before I really want to; their persistence defeats my desire to catch another hour of delicious morning sleep.

. . .

Many summers ago I went back to Dayton for the wedding of one of my childhood friends. The evening reception was held outdoors on their family farm, with a big tent with tables and a dance floor set up next to the hay fields.

It was a beautiful evening. The music was sweet, the air was as soft as I remembered it, and there were thousands of fireflies over the fields, signaling to each other as darkness slowly fell.