Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stand Up and Be Counted America

It's a weekend...

I tend to be a bit more contemplative on weekends. It's also the time I use to catch up on reading emails and newsletters from the previous week so I can start the week ahead with a clean slate.

In the process of plowing through my inbox, I came across a link to one of my favorite online copywriting sources... and an article they posted on their blog which spurred me to leave the longest response I've ever given on a blog site.

It was in response to an article posted by Daniel Levis, entitled:

A Simple Recipe for Success
(Warning to Bleeding Hearts: Don’t Read This)

Before I copy my response to his article here, please let me state for the record -- in business, I am most certainly not described a "bleeding heart"

Nine years in Accounting (my first career) taught me the value of financial planning and analysis, the importance of cash flow projections and money management, and the simple steps any company can deploy for healthy, sustainable growth.

Thirteen years in Purchasing (my second career) taught me how to dig for the truth, find creative solutions to any problem, negotiate with both external and internal decision makers to always create a win-win-win situation, streamline supply chains to be the best that they can be... and oh so very much more.

And part time, on the side, throughout both careers I ran my own talent agency off and on for more than 17 years working with basement bands, start-ups, (my hobby career) that taught me so much about politics, media, promotions, communication skills, and -- well, the list is far too long to mention here.

Many perceived me as being tough as nails, but always fair and just in all transactions.

That's why, maybe, Daniel's article struck a nerve.

I felt he was neither being fair nor just to North Americans, painting them all with a shade of paint that was not fully deserved.

You can read his article here.

And, so you don't have to read through the many, many comments posted, here is what I wrote -- word for word...

Start copy.

Curious question for you, Daniel. How much “tweaking” do you have to do on the materials you have written for you by offshore sources?

I only ask because one of my clients insists on using a design company from “over there” and I have one heckuva time trying to tell them (the design company) and/or show them what changes need to be made on templates, etc. Even when I take actual screen shots and make changes to them so they can SEE what I’m talking about, it still takes several proofs before finally getting to the finished product.

I’ve been hoping and praying for over six years that this particular client will choose an English speaking source — preferably an American or Canadian source that doesn’t bloat the source code as much as most of those “offshore” professionals seem to do.

But then, most of them use off the shelf software for jobs and don’t even care enough to streamline the code.

Sometimes my client even uses that company to write the full content, then send it back to me for review and tweaking. I liken it to scraping sauce off spaghetti… it can get that messy.

You must have gotten very lucky to be able to find so many sources both fluent in English and who understand the “pulse” of North America.

I once listed a small contract on ELance and received the lowest — and best bid IMHO — from freelancers right here in the good old USA. What a relief that was! No communication breakdowns at all and the job went through under budget and under deadline.

We live in interesting times.

We are privileged to be eyewitnesses to a very important time in our planet’s history. I’m not talking about politics, the environment, nor the economy… I’m referring to the period of flux that mankind has been steadily marching towards for the past several decades.

Some unfortunate decisions have been made here in the USA this year.

Things are going to get tough… really tough.

It’s too late to turn back. We’ve already been hurtled forward on this crazy rollercoaster for what will surely be the most tumultuous ride of our lives.

Unlike what you infer by your post however, I believe the majority of North Americans (both in Canada and in the USA) are incredibly resourceful. I believe that they have many untapped strengths and talents… and I look forward to seeing them prove to the world how very strong, resilient and passionate they can be.

Admittedly, there are plenty of bad elements that have been allowed to take root and fester within…

But the heart and soul of North America (I include Canada in this as well), the part not reflected in the flyby media of today, still beats at the core of our nations.

Determination, persistence, resilience… it all still exists here at home. Compassion, integrity, faith… still ring true within many hearts across our great lands. Imagination, creativity and the unquenchable thirst for knowledge, truth and justice still beat in the hearts of many.

This might not be the land of the truly free that our forefathers wanted… but I dare say, this is still the land of the bravest in the world!

End copy.

And finally, the Power Tip I'm sharing in this post.

If you are not already signed on to Clayton Makepeace's "Total Package" newsletter (it's FREE) it now. Some of the absolute BEST examples of advertising, promotion and copywriting come from this wonderful resource.

That's it for now.

See you tomorrow!

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