Monday, February 23, 2009

February 23, 2009
Had a staff meeting at lunch today. Carole got a big Subway hoagie for everyone, along with Sprite and Cokes. Gave a little pep talk about staying positive in this very negative time.

Esquire magazine Editor, David Granger, wrote a wonderful editorial in the current issue on how this is the best of times because gas is under $2, the best restaurants have open seats, as do airplanes, and you want to buy a car? Zero down, half off! In this doom and gloom climate it was a joy to read.

I also showed the staff a very clever promotion which came with the Sunday paper yesterday:

So simple and direct. This morning in Kathy's step class all the women were talking about it and then they were talking about the closest Chipolte and how to get there. I could almost hear the Chipolte ad agency staff grinning from ear to ear.

Sometimes we get nasty calls and letters. Sheri Riley has to put up with them. Here is an actual email:

"I do not know how you got my address. I do not know why you are sending me your magazine. And I do not care. I am not paying for your magazine. I do not want your magazine. I do not want to pay the trash man to take it to the dump. As soon as I finish this email I will be tossing your magazine in the trash. Please remove my name from your mailing list. Save the tree you are destroying."
—D. Round, Cheyenne, Wyoming

And here's Sheri's reply:

"According to our records, you were a 'Cowboy' magazine subscriber. Unfortunately, 'Cowboy' magazine has gone out of business and they asked us here at True West to honor the remainder of your subscription with our magazine. We are only sending it to you because they wanted to make sure that you received a quality publication for the remainder of your subscription.

"We do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and sincerely hope that you might give our magazine a chance. We here at True West are dedicated to preserving our Western heritage and have many writers/contributors that feel the same way. We have been in business for over 56 years and have many great stories to tell.

"Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance or it you have any additional questions or comments.

"Please have a wonderful week and stay warm up there in beautiful Wyoming."

—Sheri Riley

Now, THAT is customer service with a smile!

After lunch we had a big, design meeting with our Art Director Dan Harshberger (who drove out from the Beast), Designer Abby Goodrich, Managing Editor Meghan Saar and our intern, Ashley Briggs.

Went over art issues and upcoming cover ideas (Custer Ride, Wyatt Earp's Vendetta Ride, The Ongoing Fight Over The Alamo and Native American Art Issue images). A redesign on our new ghost town sidebar feature. Plus, long range plans for next year.

Still banging away on sketches:

And these:

“Ain’t this dirt fierce? You can watch the world go by in the sky.”
—Barney Rucker, the captain’s son, in “The Wonderful Country”

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