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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - 10:48amSanction this postReply
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Books-To-The-Schools is their best project in terms of the "leverage" it has. With limited amounts of money, Objectivist organizations have to consider how much leverage each dollar will get, what is its capacity to move the earth. In this case, there are several things to appreciate:

i) Books in the junior high to high school curriculum reach minds which are idealistic, just opening, have not yet been brainwashed with bad ideas. This reaches kids at exactly the right age of openness. In many cases, such is the brainwashing at lower levels, college is too late. Get them when they are young-est before become lefty, nihilist, jaded, postmodern...and while they are seeking heroes to build a life on. ii) The multiplier effect: each novel has multiple awareness and readership impact - it gets passed along to other students in the next class, to parents, talked about by teachers and principals. As a teacher, I can testify that schools are not isolated places, much less so than colleges. Everybody chatters. You have teacher word of mouth which speeds adoption by others, by school boards, parents getting the word, other teachers hearing of the books. Parents get intrigued. Better parents go out and get the book or read after or with kid. iii) Educators imitate other educators. Once something has become part of the educational canon in one place, that gets imitated elsewhere.
iv) Teachers are hungry, desperate for -anything- to keep the kids awake, open their minds to ideas and reading and discussion. And they instantly see that Anthem and Fountainhead do that. For a struggling teacher that very much trumps their own strong ideology (or lack of one).

Phil



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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - 1:35pmSanction this postReply
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This is indeed a good ARI program, and one to which Kelly and I gave a substantial amount of money last year -- but ARI didn't follow through on its commitment to tell us which classroom or school got our books, as it promised it would. That is not that big of a deal, but it is another indication of how bad ARI is at marketing.

The program is supposed to imprint your name as donor on each of the books if you give a certain amount of money, and ARI is supposed to then tell you where the books went. When I called them six months ago, they said they'd get back with me on that issue. They never did.




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Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - 4:57pmSanction this postReply
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Did you try calling them again?



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Post 3

Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - 5:44pmSanction this postReply
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No, I had no interest in calling them again. I got the point.

I answer the phone almost every time it rings so I can satisfy my customers and not miss out on important business decisions. If I ran my business ARI's way, we'd be eating beans and drinking water.

Would you have called them again?




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Post 4

Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - 5:27pmSanction this postReply
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If this is their best project, the movement is in trouble.  ARI is so stuck on keeping the ideas pure that they would never consider hiring a real marketer if they weren't a 100% ARI Objectivist who hates Kelley and the Brandens.



Post 5

Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - 7:18pmSanction this postReply
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"six months ago, they said they'd get back with me...I answer the phone almost every time it rings so I can satisfy my customers and not miss out on important business decisions." [David]

I'd be more willing to not presume incompetence, to give the benefit of the doubt, and just wait. If it takes till school starts next fall, so what? Your business is different--it's one of instant response and competitors ready to pounce, as you mentioned in another thread about cutthroat practices and last-minute juggling. It's now late in a school year. Schools and how they and their teachers and their bureaucracy acquire books and the timing of when courses using those books start is often longer than six months depending on time of year.

I would be a bit more patient and more benevolent.

Phil
(Edited by Philip Coates
on 6/07, 7:20pm)




Post 6

Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - 8:03pmSanction this postReply
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Phil, I operated the same way when I worked in other professions, including a long stint as a journalist. It's simply professionalism, being attentive to those who are important to you in business relationships. When the shareholders in my company email or call me, I respond to them immediately and thoroughly -- as ARI should do with its donors. THAT's good business and what we should expect from restaurant servers, business acquaintances and nonprofit agencies. I judge people heavily on how they are on the phone and how well they respond to phone calls. I won't use Realtors who don't call me back within 4 hours -- unless they have a VERY good reason.

Btw, my call to ARI six months ago was eight months after we donated the money and had heard nothing.

My main motivation was to get great books into children's hands, and I can't be entirely sure that that happened, since I STILL (14 months later) haven't received word -- except for general updates claiming certain numbers of books delivered.




Post 7

Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - 9:17pmSanction this postReply
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> 14 months later

Oh, well if it's -that- long, that's different.

I'd still be curious about what you'd find out if you called though.... could be the subject of an interesting post to Solo?



Post 8

Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - 5:37amSanction this postReply
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David, thank you for sharing your experience with ARI.  I would hate to make the effort to raise $3,000 in the name of SOLO and then have ARI take the money and not deliver on its promise.  Perhaps we can do our own project with a school district that ARI has not already served.  I share the encouragement of Phil to you to contact ARI about this subject and to post an article about it for our future reference.



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