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This is Part Two of your handy “Fire David Letterman Kit,” complete with sample letters, mailmerge instructions and contact info. Here are the topics I plan to cover in the complete kit:
- Part One — Why we are angry and our cause is just: videos and timeline of David Letterman’s offenses.
- Part Two (this post): Overview of the tools to use to get David Letterman fired.
- Part Two (this post): How to do a mailmerge
- Part Three (next post): Table of contacts you can copy and paste into Word for your mailmerge data
- Part Four: Sample letters
- Part Five: Sample e-mails
Both Sebastian Gray* and I have a lot of experience in activism. Mine was for my late life partner, Margaret Ardussi, and ranged from learning how to work government and legal systems and letter-writing, to getting lawyers, elected officials and the media involved. [Maryland state senator Ida Ruben (D, Montgomery County) saved our lives, literally, several times.] Some of the organizations I won battles with include our condo association, a hospital, the Kennedy Center and the state of Maryland. My specialties were disability rights and Fair Housing laws. I also wrote the first edition of the most authoritative guide on the rights of people with disabilities to keep animals in all forms of “no pets” housing — you can find the current edition here. The happiest day of my life was when I won my battle with a bureaucrat and got Margaret restored to home hospice care. That’s why I keep telling everyone that mastering these skills will empower them for the rest of their lives.
However, Sebastian has more experience in gaining victories with letter-writing campaigns, so I will be linking his posts at HillBuzz where necessary. Here is an e-mail he sent me providing an overview of the hierarchy of what to do to get the most impact from your efforts:
Here is the most effective way to reach corporate America:
(1) Well-written letters FedExed directly to C-suite** and board members
(2) Well-written letters mailed by USPS to C-suite and board members
(3) Well-written letters faxed to C-suite and board members
(4) Phone calls to C-suite and board members
(5) Well-written letters emailed to C-Suite and board members
(6) Phone calls to customer complaint lines (which are seldom listened to)
The trouble with efforts like this is that most people in today’s world go straight to 5 and 6, and are thus ineffective.
FedEx is most effective because it costs money to send FedEx, so people listen as it’s rare to get massive complaints by FedEx. The US mail also costs money, so it’s listened to. Phone calls and emails are easiest for people to send, but they carry less weight.
Posting sample letters is smart. [I told Sebastian I will be posting sample letters. They will be in Parts Four and Five.]
The best thing to do is to focus on three advertisers and direct everyone’s attention to breaking them: we chose Olive Garden, Mars candy, and Kelloggs.
Once we knock one of those sponsors off, we’ll replace that sponsor with Burger King, and then when another goes, we’ll put in some other product. But all firepower needs to be directed at three targets instead of 100, and the effort is maintained by not stopping when we “win” against one, but instead setup a new target and keep going.
It’s the Al Sharpton Way.
And it works.
Here is an excellent post from Sebastian TODAY on the difference between Democrats and Republicans in persisting until they achieve their goal — which, in this case, is to take down a prominent sexist bully before we are swarmed with them BY GETTING LETTERMAN FIRED! It is NO FREAKING ACCIDENT that this campaign is being pressed by a Democratic gay man (Sebastian) and an ex-Democrat newly conservative Republican lesbian (me) because we both have Democrat activist TENACITY OF PURPOSE!!! WE. MUST. WIN. THIS. FIGHT.
*Sebastian is a centrist Democrat in Chicago and part of HillBuzz, the gay male collective of Hillary PUMAs who volunteered, donated, traveled and campaigned their hearts out for McCain/Palin as soon as the Democratic National Committee ratifed Obama’s theft of the nomination from Hillary Clinton. Sebastian and his HillBuzz friends are staunch supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. I don’t know anyone else who has been doing a better job of calling out sexism and working to defeat it than HillBuzz.
**The “C-suite” is comprised of all the top executives whose titles start with “C,” for “chief,” for example, chief executive officer, chief financial officer — see Wikipedia here for a list of possible C-suite titles.
The EASY way to send as many personalized letters as you like — how to do a mailmerge
You may feel daunted about the prospect of individually addressing and personalizing each letter you write, even if you use “Save As” to create a new copy of your letter with the intention of deleting the previous addressee and putting in a new one. Not to worry. Using mailmerge will automate the process.
“Mailmerge” is when your word processing software can take data from a table you create and enter it at the right place in letters you set up so the program knows where to put the data that make the letter look unique and personalized. For this campaign, I will find the contact data, put it into the data tables and write the sample letters set up correctly. This info will be in Parts Four, Five and Six of my “Fire David Letterman” Kit.
Microsoft’s tutorial on how to do a mailmerge is here. Both the PC and Mac versions of Microsoft Word have the mailmerge feature. However, Pages, the word processing program in Apple’s iWork suite, does not have mailmerge capability.
You can use mailmerge not only to create personalized letters, but also to address envelopes, mailing labels, even make name badges. Knowing how to create a mailmerge letter will empower you as an activist for the rest of your life. Plus, it is very handy for sending out personalized Christmas letters.