191 White Oaks Road
Williamstown, MA 01267
November 16, 1988

Marjorie Zelner
Executive Secretary
Institute of General Semantics
163 Engle Street
Englewood, NJ 07631

Dear Marjorie,

My thanks to the board of trustees for letting me sit in on the Institute board meeting on Friday, November 11, 1988. I found the proceedings enlightening.

In regard to that meeting and its contents I have some thoughts regarding concerns voiced at that meeting and am herewith submitting them for you to pass on to the next board meeting.

In regard to the problem of soliciting to obtain new members I feel the following comments are in order. To attract the attention of possible new members we should have a clear and simple statement that addresses three points.

  1. What is general semantics?
  2. Who wants it?
  3. Why does a potential new member want it?

Any solicitation which fails to address these three questions with simple formulations of one to three sentences is bound to have marginal results. The answer to question one encapsulates our "product". [The answer "Modern open applied epistemology" probably won't do.] The answer to question two targets the marketing audience and shapes "sales" efforts. The answer to question three shapes the sales methods. Questions two and three need to be answered with some candid honesty so that we don't risk new members feeling "conned".

A second idea is that "Free" advertising can be had by sending "product announcements" to the editors of journals and the officers of organizations whose members might be interested in general semantics. I suggest a "hook" in those announcements. First list the names of famous general semanticists whose name recognition is high for the target audience. Then ask the "hook" question "What do all these people have in common?" Of course, the answer is "general semantics". Then announce the general semantics event and invite inquiries. A cover letter
to the editor should ask that this "announcement" be included in their forthcoming publications or announced at meetings.

R. Buckminster Fuller
Abraham Maslow
S. I. Hiawakowa
Gerald I Neirenberg

What do these successful people have in common?
They all studied and applied general semantics.

Come join us and find out what it's all about.


The 1989 Seminar-workshop
General Semantics.

date, place etc.

Annotated bibliography of general semantics papers
General Semantics and Related Topics

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