Oh, to Be Young Again

by Dan Ward

Yesterday, my father received a letter that illustrates the importance of research in any direct marketing effort. 

The fine people at People to People, an educational exploration program founded by President Dwight Eisenhower, sent him this message:

“We are pleased to offer your son [me] a one-time-only opportunity to travel and study in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales in the summer of 2010.  Join 5th and 6th grade students from the Orlando area …”

I would love to join the trip, but alas, I’m 38 years old and left elementary school when former People to People Honorary Chairman Ronald Reagan was in his first term in the Oval Office.

Unless my father has some serious ‘splainin’ to do with his wife, my guess is the direct mail list had at least one major flaw.

Now, I don’t mean to pick on People to People.  It is a fine organization with a more than 50-year-history as a leading educational travel provider. 

I chose to share this letter because 1) it’s funny; and 2) it’s a good lesson for those of us in the marketing communications field … do your research, know your audience, double check your work and choose reliable vendors.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go pack.  I’ve heard Wales can be lovely in summer.

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