by Mark Hartley
It's probably not a huge leap for anyone to deduce that I, well, sort of like magazines. While sitting in the lobby of the host hotel for the RDH Under One Roof (UOR) conference in Norfolk, Va., last month, waiting for someone, I scanned through a bridal magazine left on a coffee table.
Presumably, happy brides everywhere can testify how the magazine saved the big day for them. The overabundance of checklists startled me, though, since I tend to frown on writers who take the easy way out by resorting to a multitude of lists. "Ah, man, can't think of a good adjective here; I'll just bullet all of these points." Apparently, women need to compile hundreds of lists before entering a ceremony that legalizes the long-term relationship with a man. I thought many of the lists were rather inane and bordered on being downright insulting to the mental capacities of the feisty adult female.
But there's a reason why advertising will not support a magazine for grooms. "Hey! I told you I would call you, didn't I? What do we need for the wedding? Hold on. Let me get a pencil, so I can make a list. I'll pick the stuff up at the convenience store on the way over to the church. Chips. Beer. What else do we need? Don't we need some flowers or a plant or something green?"
Here's a checklist from me to you:
o A thank-you note — Speaking of marriage, I can imagine that a few spouses of advertising managers feel like they take a backseat to clients. The attention clients receive can be pretty intense. So I'm not worried about thanking every single advertiser or sponsor involved with UOR VI in Norfolk. There's a long list of dental manufacturers who pour an enormous amount of time and resources into UOR (as well as the profession), and our advertising representatives will ensure they get plenty of love in return. However, there are a few companies that, as the editor, I would like to single out:
• Sunstar Butler. Once again, they went to great lengths to ensure that the recipients of the third annual Healthy Gums, Healthy Life Award of Distinction felt like the special people that they are.
• OMNII Oral Pharmaceuticals, Discus Dental, and Laclede. These three companies helped this poor ol' editor recuperate from the fatigue that surfaces in the aftermath of UOR, and I'm appreciative of that.
o No mermaids, but hygienists are welcomed — This month's cover was supposed to be shot in front of a mermaid, a frequent symbol of Norfolk's history that is scattered throughout the city. But it turned out that the recommended mermaid was located just outside a law firm. The symbolism painted onto the mermaid is what you would expect from lawyers — the scales of justice, a blindfold around the mermaid's eyes, etc. So the photographer was forced to move 30 to 40 feet upwind from the law office.
A few years ago, we routinely asked readers that, if they were interested in being a "cover model," to send us a photo and a little personal information. We received more queries than we could use, so we eventually stopped printing the notice.
However, in 2005, the magazine will be searching for a few cover models. If you're interested in posing for the cover of RDH, send an image and related information to me at [email protected].
o Never too late for a survey — The August issue of RDH contained a printed version of the magazine's annual questionnaire for the salary and benefits survey. In case you missed it, you can still respond online until September 24. The address is http://rdh.pennnet.com/ surveys/survey.cfm.
o Another thank-you note — And, of course, I would be remiss not to thank the hundreds of hygienists who attended the Norfolk UOR. They braved the threat of a hurricane, as well as a hotel evacuation that occurred when a power surge triggered a fire alarm. Despite that, it seemed that everyone had a wonderful time in a great environment.
The seventh UOR, by the way, is scheduled for July 21-23, 2005, in Chicago.
Mark Hartley is the editor of RDH. He can be contacted at [email protected].