.... my 2 cents ....
musings on marketing, media, public relations....and life,
by David Reich
Reich Communications, Inc.
Reich Communications, Inc. is a boutique public relations agency in New York City offering full service in a variety of areas, with specializations in business-to-business; advertising, marketing and media firms; transportation safety; non-profits, and select consumer products and services.
For more info, call us at (212) 573-6000, email to david@reichcommunications or text to 914-325-9997.
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Here's something I posted a year ago, but I feel it's worth repeating at this time of year. I hope you enjoy it.
My daughter Jennifer was taking her older son Jack, 10, to school recently and, as he got out of the car, he asked a question that worries many parents at this time of year. His question -- "Is Santa real?"
Jen didn't have a simple answer, so she said it was complicated and she'd tell him when he got home from school. She thought about it and wrote down her thoughts in a beautiful letter that I'm sharing below, with Jen's permission.
An interesting side note... Jen is Jewish and her husband Jon is Christian. The boys, Jack and his brother Gabriel, 6, are being raised with traditions from both faiths. Not necessarily the religious dogma, but traditions like lighting the menorah on Chanukah, having matzoh for Passover and, of course, at this time of year decorating the Christmas tree and waiting for Santa.
I am so proud of my daughter for expressing her thoughts so beautifully and helping keep alive a beautiful tradition that makes this time of year magical for so many people -- especially children. Wouldn't it be nice if in this way we could all retain our inner child?
Here's Jen's note to my grandson Jack...
You asked a really good question earlier and I didn’t have time to answer it then. It is a question I knew was coming sooner than later, and I had a feeling it might come around this Christmas. It is a question that parents all over the word have to face at some time, and it is bittersweet. So I came home and gave it some serious thought and here is my answer to your question, “Is Santa real?”
Yes and no. Your image of Santa, as a big, fat, jolly man in a red suit and a beard, flying all over the world in s sleigh, is not real. You are a smart kid and you probably have questioned for some time how that could be possible. The presents under the tree that are from Santa are in fact from Daddy and I, and we fill the stockings too. After you and your brother go to sleep on Christmas Eve, Daddy and I are hard at work, sneaking quietly to make Christmas magical- just like Grammy and Poppy did for Daddy, and their parents did for them.
And that is where the other part of the answer comes in- Santa may not be real in the way you thought, but the spirit of him is a real part of Christmas. The story of Santa has been around for hundreds of years and the magic his story creates for children is a beautiful thing. And for adults too! I know that Santa is not real in an actual sense, but I still believe in his spirit as a grown up. I still feel the beauty and magic and love on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, even though I know the truth. And I hope you will too.
Santa teaches love and magic, and hope and happiness. He creates the ability to believe that anything is possible, that there are miracles in the world, and that giving to others freely is the surest way to fill your heart- and theirs- with joy.
So while now you may know that Santa himself isn’t sneaking down our chimney at night, I sincerely hope that you can still believe in the magic and beauty of his story. I hope that Christmas still feels special for you and that one day, you will make the Santa story come alive for your own children.
Learning about Santa is a big step in growing up. I have to admit, I shed a tear or two writing this as there is a certain part of childhood you are leaving behind. But here is the neat thing: you now get to be a creator of this magic, a helper, and elf, if you will. It is important to let each child realize the Santa story on their own, or the magic can be ruined. You are now a guardian of Santa- like Daddy and I have been for you. You must keep his story alive for those that still believe, like your brother and your friends. It is a really big responsibility but one that you must take seriously. You can now help spread the love and the belief in miracles and the magic of Santa- you are now on his team, as Daddy and I have been for all the Christmas mornings you can remember. Welcome.
You may have more questions, and I am happy to answer them. Or you may just need to let this sit for a while. Just know that while the Santa you see at the mall surely is not real, the love and generosity and spirit of kindness and giving that he instills in people is very real and very important. Be sure to carry the Santa story with you in your heart forever.
Here's the latest newsletter we wrote for client The National Road Safety Foundation.
The newsletter describes some of the programs and activities we create and help manage for this client -- contests to engage teens in talking about safe driving; tie-ins with media like Scholastic, the top publisher of in-school magazines, Teen Kids News, the nationally-syndicated news show that airs on 220 TV stations; and lots more.
It's hard to believe that email has been widely used for only about 20 years. It is now the dominant form of business communication, far outstripping snail mail and faxes.
We got rid of our fax machine about a year ago, after the only things we got via fax were paper-and-ink-consuming promos selling everything from discount travel to health plans to discount fax toner. And there are many days that go by where the only thing the mailman delivers to the office are ad flyers, unwanted and very fat office and cleaning products catalogues and the occasional bill. Some days, there is actually nothing in the regular mail.
What's happened? It's all in email these days -- virtually instantaneous and free. On a typical business day, I get upwards of 200 emails.
A survey just out, reported in Research Brief (via email), shows most of us check our email at least once a day. Forty-four percent of us check email at least a few times a day. Most of us (67%) check our email mostly via our smartphones, with the rest about evenly split between laptops, desktops and tablets.
Before writing this, I did some checking to learn when email began. For me, I was reluctantly pushed into using email by a client back in the early 1990s. The client, out in Palo Alto, Calif. would have me draft a news release and then send it to them by fax. They would fax back their edits and have me fax back the final for them to review and give a final go-ahead. Back then, I still didn't have a regular computer. I was using a word processor. I'd make the changes and then do a mass mailing to targeted media, making hundreds of copies, labeling envelopes and running them all through a postage meter. The postage alone often cost $90 - $100 or more.
At one point, the client said either get a computer, use email or we'll have to take the business elsewhere. So I bought a Compaq Presario all-in-one unit, only because the guy next door had the same unit and I felt if I needed help, I could just run to him.
Now, I can't imagine working without email. (Thanks for the push, Rocco.)
Email officially began in 1978, my research shows, when an Indian immigrant working a summer job at a New Jersey medical school created a way for the office staff to share their memos electronically. Siva Ayyadurai, then 14, gets the credit for the first email, despite some claims by others including a Ray Tomlinson, that they created email as early as 1971. Those claims, it seems, have not been substantiated.
Even as late as 1982, there were only about 1,000 email accounts worldwide. The explosion began in 1983, when it grew tenfold to 100,000, growing again by 2-1/2 times by 1985 and then doubling every two years till it reached a million in 1989.
The growth continued to skyrocket, hitting 5 million in 1992, 10 million in 1995, 25 million in 1996 and 400 million by 1999. It crossed the billion mark in 2007 and 4 billion in 2013.