Posts tagged “solicitation”

Frames of Reference at the Zoo

A morning at the Santa Barbara zoo reveals some interesting frames and reframes.

Donors to the zoo are “Foster Feeders”, a more nurturing and sustaining view of how cash ends up as food.

Adding a card to a parking meter is an attempt to present the payment-for-service device as a donation opportunity. It’s a bit of a leap and maybe not the right connotation for the zoo’s purposes.

You could pay to ride with a plastic giraffe, or you could gaze upon a real one.

Even the benches are up for sponsorship. Here’s a plaque-hole which may simply be a lack of maintenance but gently offers the possibility of Your Name Here.

On display at a new exhibit: Man.

Cockroaches made all the more frightening when a puppeteer-like hand enters the frame to flip them over, pluck out the dead ones, and drop off some food.

Everyone gets the chance to be a zoo animal!

Solicitation Chutzpah

About a year ago, an editor at New Design Magazine pursued me aggressively to write an article for them, based on what they’d seen on this blog and elsewhere on the web. We batted around some ideas and I agreed to do it. They weren’t going to pay me, which sucks, but is somewhat par-for-the-course in our content-bloated world.

It got awkward when they did agree to pay an author I referred them to (a colleague of mine), and further awkward when my piece (created under a serious publication deadline) didn’t appear. Indeed, trying to find out what was happening with my piece was difficult; they just stopped returning my messages once they had their free article. As far as I know, they never ran it, but they never communicated any final decision back to me, either.

Perhaps this serves me right for not insisting on payment, and for not having any sort of formal agreement. But if they are going to use karmic currency, they better get their account back in balance. I’m obviously never going to write for them again.

So it was astonishing to see a solicitation in my email today, inviting me to purchase print advertising in their magazine. Now I should give them money? “The cost for each full page would be ¬£950, but new design will go fifty:50 with you on this rate. You pay just ¬£475.”

Shyeah, right.


Today must be solicitation day. We received a curious phone call earlier in the day from a firm that – as far as I can tell – helps strategically market creative service businesses. A very large designerly such business (former client) was name-checked several times. I was buttered up with references to someone in the media who said great things about me, while the second time this came up I was told that they can’t tell me who it is because they never reveal their sources (I hadn’t asked). Sources?! When I explained to them that we were probably too small for them (going by the size of firms they had worked for) they told me that their fees were “up there.”

Later our HR alias got an email from a recruiting firm wanting to help out. The first line of the email reads
Hello Prtugal Consulting
and then of course goes on to talk about excellent and commitment and all that! But they managed to get TWO spelling errors in my name! So much for attention to detail. And they are contacting me to solicit my business? So much for good communication.

I’ve received any number of calls over the last few months from large Indian operations wanting to see if I can outsource some of my work to them. Hmm. Not yet, anyway.

Business development is hard, and very hard to do well. That’s clear from either side of the conversation!

Broadband National Scam?

Broadband National Scam? I don’t know. I just got a phone call from this company (some sort of reseller or provider of well, broadband services). They had my number, obviously, my first name, and they claimed I did a search on their database yesterday for broadband services, and was I still looking. I did no such thing. I haven’t heard of this company or visited this site and I can’t imagine what I did online yesterday that would have sent my info to them.

Anyway, I told them they had the wrong person, but I was kinda shaken. Maybe it’s just a sales technique to convince recipients of cold-calls that they aren’t all that cold. I don’t know.

Update: Later today I got a recorded phone call from the same company, offering me a deal with Comcast High Speed Cable Internet. I reported them to the FCC for violating the Do-Not-Call registry. Very weird. I post this all here because someone will probably end up Googling this when it happens to them and maybe this provides some measure of reassurance, if not actual resolution.

Update: I received this email today

I have been forwarded your complaint regarding what appeared to be a “cold call” about broadband service. Broadband National manages 1200+ websites for various broadband service providers. This is how we received your name and number. As of today, we have since removed your name from all internal records and have placed you on our Do Not Call list. We do apologize for any inconvenience.

Debbie Garrett
Consumer Products Manager


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