Pen friend

Right on, or write off?

Some blog post ideas literally come in the mail.

Like this from a promotional pen company.

Here are the highlights of their exhilarating letter:


‘This is no ordinary writing instrument.
It’s a pen customers and prospects will treasure and use every day.
Not only will they remember your thoughtfulness and generosity, they’ll be reminded of your company day after day and will share their sentiments with all their friends who notice and admire this truly exceptional executive gift!’

Not bad for $1.15 a pop.



I must admit, this pen beats the plastic crap in most ‘goodie’ bags.

But I’m not convinced it’ll have the electrifying effect predicted.

I’m fussy about what I write with, but maybe that’s because I’m a writer.

Then again, a pen is a personal item – held close, often and long. Non-writers may be picky too.

So I’m not sure 1000 pens are a wise investment – even with black velveteen pouches for an extra $0.25 each.

Focus fire

The only promotional writing instrument I can name is an Andersen Consulting mechanical pencil.

It’s a beaut, but each time I use it at a client briefing, I recall the firm doesn’t exist anymore.

Fonnie (my focus group of one) has been using a promotional pen for years.

She loves its smooth action and comfortable shape.

But for the life of her, she can’t recall the company name printed on its side!

Picture the firm that sent it, knowing their signal stylus is next to a CEO – yet doomed to obscurity.

On balance, I don’t think I’ll go the pen path.

Favourite things

There are, of course, myriad promo items.

Magnets, rulers, key rings … if you can stick a logo on it, someone has.

Fonnie likes The Langham’s calendar and uses this hotel, but doesn’t think the link is causal.

My favourite gewgaw is a scale model of a Double A paper carton. It has loose sheets the size of Post-it notes – ideal for eBay parcel thank-yous.

I love the item, but have never bought the product.

Perhaps, by appearing in this post, it’s finally done its job.

Your stuff

Have you used pens or other things to promote your business?

Have they been used with(out) effect on you?

Don’t miss out …

This offer ends in 30 minutes.

Pen your thoughts to us




Note: I’m on break 3-23 April so please talk freely among yourselves.


Paul Hassing | Founder & Senior Writer – The Feisty Empire