Johnson's World: Print Could Save Your Marriage … and Your Business

It is the difference between being just one more schmuck with a Facebook page and being an established professional leader in your field.

February 1, 2015

Saint Valentine’s Day is approaching, a time to celebrate your undying, true and everlasting love with your sweetie. Candy, flowers, and an expensive night out are the usual order of the day.

Ah, but what if your undying, true, and everlasting love seems to be on the wane? Forget the candy and flowers; what you need is marriage counseling!

A trip to the local confectioner is a no-brainer, but finding a competent marriage counselor is a challenge.

The wrong counselor may do more harm than good. You could Google search (gag!) but a much safer method would be to ask trusted friends and advisors for personal referrals. If you ask me, I might very well refer you to Dr. David Gursky.

And thereby hangs a tale.

The only time I met Dr. Gursky was at a noontime business meeting where he gave a 20-minute introductory lecture. Everything he said seemed logical, although I admit we had been fed a full lunch and much of the audience was nodding off during his talk. Those that remained awake were surreptitiously checking their smart phones.

I think Dr. Gursky had some Powerpoint slides to augment his spoken presentation, but the glare from the noonday sun shining through the clubhouse windows made his visuals hard to see. One slide had his website address listed for more information, but the URL was long and I can’t remember what it was.

In summary, I attended a brief presentation from a marriage counselor who said some things that made sense even though I can’t remember what they were. In fact, the day after meeting him I couldn’t even remember his name. That was last summer. Now, how am I supposed to give you a referral?

Printed materials to the rescue!

Dr. Gursky didn’t just give his pitch and flash a few slides on a screen. He handed out an outline delineating the salient points of his talk, with copious space for note taking by listeners. At the end of the outline was the date and location of his next seminar, which promised to be more in-depth than our little lunch event. The outline urged us to “call now to reserve your spot” and gave a phone number.

The outline could have been banged out on a desktop printer and it would have been better than no handout at all. It was, in fact, considerably better than that. It was printed on letterhead, professionally designed and typeset, two colors with graphics, full bleeds, and reversed-out type, on Crane’s Crest bond. Each page included Dr. Gursky’s name and contact information as well as his trademark “The Principles of Oneness™” and his slogan “Energize your marriage in a powerful and meaningful way!” with bold type in appropriate places for emphasis.

But wait, there’s more.

The good doctor also handed out his brochure. Yes, while everyone and their uncle is screwing around on Twitter, wise marketers are still printing brochures. Dr. Gursky’s is a handsome oversize six panel brochure, again professionally designed and printed in process color.

Filled with happy couples laughing, licking cake batter off beaters (really!), and just being in love, the brochure assures us that Dr. Gursky’s philosophy “The Principle of Oneness™” will “show couples that it is possible for two opposites to be happy.”

There is a picture of the smiling, non-threatening doctor, urging us to “Dare to learn something new about love. Take the first step and make an appointment today!” Followed, of course, by contact information.

Print is not a commodity. In this case, print made the difference between a short lunchtime lecture being a forgettable waste of time or being an effective marketing exercise that led to at a business referral … and might save a marriage in the process.

Print is the difference between being just one more schmuck with a Facebook page and being an established professional leader in your field.

Spread the word.