Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

The Works of Marketing with Ray INDEX

April 1, 2003 • Volume 2 Issue 40

April Fools Day is TODAY!

Spring has sprung. So, let's have some fun this issue.

Mark Twain says it this way;

"Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed." And then, more from Twain, "The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year."

Unlike most of the other non-foolish holidays, the history of April Fool's

Day, sometimes called All Fool's Day, is not totally clear. So reports the folks at http://wilstar.com/holidays who gather such data.

There really wasn't a "first April Fool's Day" that can be pinpointed on the calendar. Some believe it sort of evolved simultaneously in several cultures at the same time, from celebrations involving the first day of spring.

The closest point in time that can be identified as the beginning of this tradition was in 1582, in France. Prior to that year, the new year was celebrated for eight days, beginning on March 25. The celebration culminated on April 1. With the reform of the calendar under Charles IX, the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, and New Year's Day was moved to January 1.

However, communications being what they were in the days when news traveled by foot, many people did not receive the news for several years. Others, the more obstinate crowd, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the new year on April 1. These backward folk were labeled as "fools" by the general populace. They were subject to some ridicule, and were often sent on "fools errands" or were made the butt of other practical jokes.

This harassment evolved, over time, into a tradition of prank-playing on the first day of April. The tradition eventually spread to England and Scotland in the eighteenth century. It was later introduced to the American colonies of both the English and French. April Fool's Day thus developed into an international fun fest, so to speak, with different nationalities specializing in their own brand of humor at the expense of their friends and families.

In Scotland, for example, April Fool's Day is actually celebrated for two days. The second day is devoted to pranks involving the posterior region of the body. It is called Taily Day. The origin of the "kick me" sign can be traced to this observance.

Mexico's counterpart of April Fool's Day is actually observed on December 28. Originally, the day was a sad remembrance of the slaughter of the innocent children by King Herod. It eventually evolved into a lighter commemoration involving pranks and trickery.

Pranks performed on April Fool's Day range from the simple, (such as saying, "Your shoe's untied!), to the elaborate. Setting a roommate's alarm clock back an hour is a common gag. Whatever the prank, the trickster usually ends it by yelling to his victim, "April Fool!"

Practical jokes are a common practice on April Fool's Day. Sometimes, elaborate practical jokes are played on friends or relatives that last the entire day. The news media even gets involved. For instance, a British short film once shown on April Fool's Day was a fairly detailed documentary about "spaghetti farmers" and how they harvest their crop from the spaghetti trees.

April Fool's Day is a "for-fun-only" observance. Nobody is expected to buy gifts or to take their "significant other" out to eat in a fancy restaurant. Nobody gets off work or school. It's simply a fun little holiday, but a holiday on which one must remain forever vigilant, for he may be the next April Fool!

Trust your today - April 1 - is a good time.

. . . a loose thought

on E-mail & E-learning

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has made an outlandish statement;

"We arenot up to our ears in E-mail."

This Washington, D.C. survey firm reports 62% of employed Americans have Internet access, and 98% use E-mail on the job. However, they also report it is a "myth" that E-mail is out of control.

60% receive 10 or fewer messages - 23% more than 20 and only 6% more than 50 E-mails daily. 78% send fewer than 10 messages and only 11% send more than 20.

Interesting numbers. If I'd been included in this survey the numbers both received and sent would have gone up a notch. Or two. Or more!

Now, more numbers. Communication statistics. Nothing new here ... yet, as a tag to the E-mail report, they're worth sharing.

Peoplespeak at 150-175 words a minute. Peoplehear at nearly 600 words per minute. Which is why listening is so-so difficult; your brain can hear wordsand do something else at the same time. And most often does just that.

People forget 8% of what they hear in 24 hours ... about 60% of what they hear within 2 weeks. Thus, the repeat-repeat-repeat rule. Repetition builds your reputation.

In summary;

  • People remember 11% of what they hear,
  • 30% of what they see,
  • 50% of what they see and hear,
  • 70% of what they do, and
  • 90% of what they say and then do.

Meaning, dialogue with action is a necessary for humans to learn and to remember.

Which is another key reason independent E-learning is not as effective as many thought it would be. Alone it's too passive. Blended with conventional methods it can work well.

With statistics you can prove anything. And, at the same time, statistics "lie". You elect to do with these stats what you wish. Now it's your turn.


Because this is April 1 - April Fool's Day - a quote from Anonymous that gets pretty close to foolish.

"Some days you're the dog.
And some days you're the hydrant."

"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.

A FREE Audio Tape for YOU!

Because Ray Speaks ... it is expected he'll have audio and video tapes.

Why? To share with speakers bureaus, meeting planners and others interested in what he may have to say. So "yes", there is an audio tape. And he'll be happy to send you a copy. FREE. No strings attached.

The tape is a selection from several speaking gigs. A few case histories, some "how to..." ideas. And such. About an hour's worth of chatter ... some of it actually very entertaining!

If you'd like you very own copy, send an E-mail to ...
with your complete mailing address.

Your tape will be on the way to you within the day.

Oh, when you have a need for a speaker, and feel a demo video tape could be valuable to you, just ask for a copy. Not much use for video these days - with the Web - still, we'll be happy to forward one to you.

"Stamp Out" Alzheimer's

The last years of my dad's life included Alzheimer's. So, when long time DMer, speaker & biz friend John Jay Daly asked me to include this news - I quickly said "yes".

The US Postal Service is being asked to create a 'semi-postal' stamp to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association. To fight the disease that affects 4 million Americans. A petition of 50,000 signatures is needed to make an impact.

Will you please help? Visit the donated web site & sign the cyberpetition ...

You can also E-mail John at speaker@JohnJayDaly.com or visit www.johnjaydaly.com for more ideas on how you might help.

Thank you.

"It IS What's Next!"

Already I've shared this story with health care organizations, a database marketing business, a direct marketing firm, a DM association - and several others. And I'm ready to bring it to your group. (Visit It IS What's Next!)

When you have a need for a 40-90 minute program, I'll give you this different, interesting, meaningful, warm and true action presentation. To your club. Your company. Your organization. Your association. Any group you have. At any place. At any time. For any reason.

ItISWhat's Next!is available to you as a Keynote Address. As a special program. As an opening or closing presentation. As a different / unique session.

Interested? Visit the web site @ It IS WhatsNext! And E-mail me Ray@RayJutkins.com and let's make it happen. I look forward to hearing from you. Soon.

Thank you!

Magic Marketing Minutes

9 Powerful Words

I began ringing door bells at age 12. Since that time I've had the opportunity to hear, learn, forget and then learn again, a number of axioms. One of the best of these is this:

"I have a problem and I need your help."

These are the 9 most powerful words in the English language. And they work too, when offered with sincerity. And when you have an honest approach to make, they will help you reach your prospect and your customer.

They work more because of the idea behind the words, rather than the words themselves. They work because people do like to help other people. If you have a legitimate request, in most cases you'll have an opportunity to present your case to the person you feel will benefit most.

Let me share with you a quick story. I placed a mail-order buy over an 800 line with a credit card. The product didn't come. Since it was a present, and consequently was time sensitive, there was a minor emergency.

So, I called their toll free number again and talked to Betty. And I said to Betty: "I have a problem and I need your help."

Betty looked up the order and found it in her system. She then suggested they make up another order and ship it express at their expense the next day. And guess what ... they did it!

The 9 most powerful words in the English language went to work for me. Rather than ranting and raving, screaming and hollering, yelling, being upset and complaining, I used the 9 words. And they worked!

Try 'em. You too will find the 9 most powerful words in the English language are: "I have a problem and I need your help."

The Works of Marketing with Ray INDEX

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