Tip Sheet: Keeping Albert a Secret
How to Keep the Secret
The best made plans to keep Einstein's visit a secret can sometimes go astray. Here are suggestions about little details to prevent inadvertently letting the cat out of the bag, keeping the surprise intact and maximizing the intended impact.
1. Play up publicity about a "World Famous Nobel Prize Winning Scientist" surprise guest speaker.
2. Plan your written program accordingly. We will send you Arden's bio, without mentioning his portrayal of Einstein.
3. It's okay to sprinkle Einstein quotes thoughout your program and publicity. Just don't overdo it.
4. Consider how Einstein will enter the room, where he will wait, and how he'll get to the front.
5. Obviously, don't leave our letterhead and promo material lying around in plain sight.
6. We'll provide a written introduction for you. Please practice his intro beforehand, outloud. Make it fun. Really emphasize his name...Dr Albert Einstein!!!
7. Is your FAX machine secure? Do we need to notify you before faxing so you can be there to receive it?
Please tell us the best times to reach you, to avoid phone tag. When we call, we will simply use our names "Arden or Carolyn Bercovitz" and say the call is regarding a meeting being planned. Tell us who in your office is clued in, and we can leave more complete messages. Remind your administrative assistant to be careful when others are around.
Fun Ways to Promote the Surprise Visit of Albert Einstein
Having Einstein appear unexpectedly can be a lot of fun, and the promotion can increase attendance dramatically. Here is what McGill University did to increase attendance by 35% to nearly 800 people. Clues were put into the daily newsletter for a week.
Build interest with this series of announcements:
The celebrations will start to roll at 11:00 am, when our guest speaker will deliver a talk. As we have already indicated in earlier advertisements, we are not yet allowed to divulge the name of this year's speaker as (s)he is currently, in a manner of speaking, "underground." However, as I have already mentioned, this person has received a Nobel prize. We will make more information available on this, as we are allowed, as the Founder's Day celebrations draw closer. Have no fear about the speaker's arriving; we have been assured that (s)he will be out in the open by Feb 11.
Clue 1: (S)He is very well known as a speaker for far-reaching research and social contributions, but has been relatively quiet recently, for reasons that we have already alluded to.
Clue 2: We are permitted to say that the speaker is well known enough that her/his name is a household word in much of the world. (S)He did her/his best work while in the employ of the government, but is no longer with them.
Clue 3: Founder's Day Speaker will appear tomorrow! (S)He is back, and as will be evident, (s)he wasn't just fishin' for the last few months. Check it out tomorrow! When you see this person, you won't have to ask her/his name. (S)He is well worth seeing, even if you do have to put up with the M.C. (the perennially square, David Bird).
Clue 4: Founder's Day speaker unmasked! Today's the day! Don't miss the speaker, one of the great figures of our century! (S)He is well known for turning matters that are generally considered to be highly technical into relatively light concepts.