Saturday, May 27, 2017

Still Life with Robin: Don't Hang Around My Door

by Peggy Robin

On Monday I returned home after several hours away to find a bright lime-green door hanger stuck into the handle of the my front door. It was very visible from a distance, proof that I was not at home to remove the glaring object. It was an announcement --with offers of free coffee, free pizza, and some other goodies-- of the May 30th opening of the 7-11 at the corner of Connecticut and Ordway.

Whatever people think of convenience stores -- and I happen to think most are overpriced, unappealing, and not all that convenient -- I’m not a fan of a form of advertising that papers the neighborhood. I don’t like flyers stuck under car windshield wipers, either. Someone has left a piece of paper on something you own that you will now have to dispose of – an annoying little imposition on your time. And if the paper isn’t firmly lodged where the flyer-distributor has left it, then it becomes litter in the streets. That’s even worse.

There are so many better ways to distribute a promotion. If the business wants to stay low-tech, they can hire people to hand out flyers on the street – which gives pedestrians the freedom to decline to take one. They can use local media, like the Northwest Current and of course, our very own ClevelandPark Listserv. They can do a postal mailing….although I have to concede that this method is far less effective than it used to be, due to the unreliability of USPS. (I probably shouldn’t use this to occasion to rehash my years-long beef with USPS, whose carriers will sometimes leave my mail in a bundle in front of my front door. On the other hand, it is relevant to the discussion, given that it’s another example of a delivery service leaving the visible proof that there's no one home to take in the mail. I do have a door slot, and they are supposed to use it. And don’t get started on how often my mail is mis-delivered to other addresses, while I end up with mail for other neighbors.)

That said, I do intend to be at the 7-11’s opening day and get my free slice of pizza!


Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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