The primary goal of this blog is to bring you thought-provoking insights about marketing and advertising to Boomers. From time to time I also engage in a little social commentary, particularly about stories I discover in the media that tend to either disparage Boomers or, alternatively—and much less frequently—cast a favorable light on the generation.
If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you already know this.
In this post I have decided to digress from the primary focus of the blog. I’m pulling back the wizard’s curtain and revealing what it means to have been writing a blog about Boomers for five years from the perspective of those who want a piece of the action.
A surprisingly large number of marketers see value in this blog for promoting myriad products and services. It has become de rigueur to include bloggers in publicity initiatives under the theory that online chatter expands buzz and media reach.
Selected bloggers have been added to The Media List of major marketing firms and thus have extended the services they can offer their clients. (“We have established relationships with the nation’s foremost bloggers, those sycophants who can barely contain themselves when they receive our media alerts and press advisories.”)
I decline or ignore most of these requests even though those who send them universally feel their “news” is of universal interest to you. They see it as logical that I would eagerly turn over this blog to their promotional initiatives. They don’t offer compensation, which would be a problem anyway since I decided not to sell my editorial soul for a few bucks when this blog convened in June 2005.
However, I do know the extreme frustration of trying to gain (claw for?) attention from luminaries who might be helpful with branding and promotion, whether for one of my books or even this blog. The typical response I receive is a non-response… nada.
So, in the interest of greater karmic justice (“you reap what you sew”), and perhaps enhancing my own good fortunes with reaching out to celebrities and notables in the future, let me share a fascinating recent example.
Peter Buffett Releases New Book
Peter Buffett is the son of the world’s wealthiest or second wealthiest man, Warren. An email written by Bret Caputo, an employee of a New York marketing firm called Two Sheps That Pass..., began enthusiastically:
I wanted to introduce you to a new book by Peter Buffett—Emmy Award-winning musician, philanthropist, and Random House published author.
Most people probably think that having billionaire investor, Warren Buffett (boldface added in email by marketing firm), as a father would make life far from average. But, as Peter explains in his warm, wise, and inspirational new book, Life Is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path To Fulfillment set (sic) for release on April 27th;(sic) the only real inheritance handed down from his parents was a philosophy: ‘forge your own path in life’ (sic). It is a creed that has allowed him to follow his own passions, establish his own identity, and reap his own successes.
I ignored the first email, which arrived on April 15, federal income tax day. On that day I was otherwise occupied as a keynote speaker for the Florida Boomer Lifestyle Conference (see previous post).
But Bret is a forceful PR practitioner, so he emailed me again on April 20 and then again on April 27, the date set for official book release.
By the third email I was getting slightly irritated. (“Can’t this pushy PR guy take my non-response as my answer?”) Further, I wondered why Peter Buffett needed my blog to promote his book, especially with more than a little help from his friends Bill, Bill, Melinda, Gloria and Ted. Not to mention Emmy. And Random House.
So I decided to have a little fun with Bret. Here’s my follow-up email in its entirety.
My non-response to your previous two emails was due to extensive travel.
I question a fundamental premise of Peter’s book: that his only inheritance is a philosophy. Oh, really?
My dad, a Kansas populist born just 30 miles from the Nebraska border, taught me that in life it’s not just what you know; it’s also who you know. Say, for example, you know the richest or second richest man in the world, depending on the year, a fellow by the name of Bill Gates—Peter’s dad’s buddy.
Let’s just look at the possibility that the last name of Buffett opened a few doors for young Peter, even if Peter’s talent and tenacity subsequently earned him accolades he justly deserves.
My career and life have also taught me that many talented people come and go who never get discovered. I’m thinking of another musician, a brilliant, mesmerizing baritone with the stage name of Elario, who should have been singing on Broadway but in the 1970s was traveling from Ramada Inn to Ramada Inn as a two-bit nightclub entertainer. Big breaks never came Elario’s way. He didn’t know the right people to open doors for his talent then to reach full acclaim.
Okay. I’ll review Peter’s book—a favorable recommendation—if he’ll do the same for me. I’ll even throw in a bonus posting on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I don’t know Bill Gates or the luminaries who circulate around the Buffett family, but I do write a blog. When I write about a topic, my posting often rises to top ten Google rankings. Google search GE healthymagination case study as an example.
I’m interested in ascertaining if Peter truly believes that anyone can achieve success by simply “forging his own path in life.” Saying that, I’m sure he has much to teach us. It isn’t necessarily easy being born the son of the nation’s wealthiest or second wealthiest man, and I greatly admire populist values held by the senior Mr. Buffett. He reminds me of a wealthier version of my own father.
Share this with Peter. I’ll be shocked if any further follow up ensues.
And what kind of response did I receive back from such an aggressive staff member of Two Sheps that Pass...?
You guessed it. Nada.