A fond look back on seven years
This week I was saddened to learn that Deliver: A Magazine for Marketers will cease publication.
I have written for Deliver the entire seven years of its existence.
I lay in a hospital bed, wrapping up a four month stay (I’m fine now, thanks), when then-editor Dan Grantham called. His boss saw one of my articles in another publication and told him, “That’s the kind of writing I want in Deliver.”
I won’t feign humility. It went straight to my head.
Deliver, a bi-monthly, was in its first year and had two issues out. They wanted me in the next issue, July, 2005. Fortunately, by this time I had eased sufficiently off of pain killers to be able to think and write somewhat coherently. My family brought my Macbook Pro to my room and I banged out an article.
When I was discharged a few weeks later, Deliver sent a photographer. My piece had to do with branding, so he decided to pose me holding a branding iron out in a field with Utah’s breathtaking mountains in the background.
It was, perhaps, my most challenging portrait session. My legs had atrophied something fierce. I used a walker at the time, but had to balance without it for the photos. The uneven ground under my feet didn’t help. I’d lost some 60 pounds, so my clothes hung on me as on a little kid playing dress-up in his dad’s suit. I’d cinched my belt as tight as I could, but my pants, belt and all, kept trying to slip down. (Soon I would discover suspenders.) But we managed.
Deliver liked the result. They even liked the brief teapot tempest my piece stirred when another, far better-known direct marketing writer misconstrued
Above: The iconic masthead.
Above: July, 2005. Fresh out of the hospital, I could hardly stand. My walker stood at the ready, just out of frame. I had lost so much weight that my clothes dwarfed me. My pants kept trying to fall down.
Above: The July, 2005, cover of Deliver. Their third issue, my first.
The writer later expanded his rebuttal into a book chapter, complete with my name. I felt strangely honored. If you can’t take criticism, rebuttal or, for that matter, being misconstrued, you have no business writing. (Though I can’t imagine why you’d want to, you can read my first Deliver article by clicking here and scrolling to Page 7.)
I didn’t know it then, but that first Deliver piece was to usher in a great, long-term relationship. In succeeding years, Dan and, later, my soon-to-become great friend Darrell Dawsey commissioned and ran some 50 articles from me, along with a video editorial last year for the inaugural iPad edition. For a brief time I also enjoyed working with Lori Bremerkamp. Though I never met any of them—they’re in Detroit and I’m in Salt Lake City—I felt we had a close and productive working relationship. I hope we manage to remain in touch.
What a great ride it has been. I will miss Deliver. In fact, I miss it already, even though one last issue remains in the pipeline, due out in October. I won’t be in that issue, at least as far as I know. (10/22/2012 update: I was wrong. The final issue features an unattributed Leader Column written by Yours Truly. Scroll up to read it.)
As for all those articles, I think (perhaps wishfully) they are still useful, still relevant. Perhaps the RESPONSE Agency will compile them in book form to be offered on this site. Stay tuned...