Friday Buzz: Life Lessons From David Carr

Wisdom and translatable, down-to-earth insights from the legendary media critic, who died Thursday night. Plus: The latest on email strategy

New York Times media columnist David Carr died last night at age 58, and the lessons he passed on to his audiences are now being spread almost infinitely across the internet.

Beyond being a noted media columnist, Carr was also known as a public speaker and presenter on media issues: Just yesterday, in the hours before his death, he moderated a panel event discussing the Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour. The panel included Snowden himself, journalist Glenn Greenwald, and filmmaker Laura Poitras.

“He was the best and most important media reporter of our time, and he was explaining this revolution that’s happening to the world around us,” CNN’s Brian Stelter, a fellow media reporter and onetime colleague of Carr’s, said after learning of Carr’s passing.

Throughout his life, Carr shared numerous insights on a variety of topics, including communication, hard work, and life in general.

He even had brilliant things to say about conferences:

Carr advocated for people to play their part as leaders and valued the work of doers. In an autobiography that appeared on a syllabus for a Boston University course he taught, Carr wrote of himself: “He is a big sucker for the hard worker and is rarely dazzled by brilliance. He has little patience for people who pretend to ask questions when all they really want to do is make a speech.”

The famed media reporter also had career advice to share: “No one is going to give a damn about your resume; they want to see what you have made with your own little fingers,” he wrote in his memoir, Night of the Gun.

The Best Emails Ever


“So what makes you want to take that extra step to actually open an email? Often, it’s the subject line.”

That’s what HubSpot‘s Ginny Soskey had to say about the magic of the great subject line. Need an idea of what she’s talking about? Check out her blog post that highlights 18 such subject lines. The best of the bunch? “Hey,” direct from President Obama. You can’t beat that.

Other successful subject lines are alluring, attention-grabbing, and sometimes just so casual that it generates surprise on the part of the recipient, who’s inspired to open the email rather than send it immediately into the trash folder, unread.

Also worth noting on the email strategy front: HubSpot and Litmus’ “Science of Email 2014″ report, which analyzes trends found in 800 million emails last year. Impressive.

Other Links Of Note

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! It’s not too late to show love for your donors. Jay Love, cofounder and CEO of Bloomerang, shares 21 creative ways to show appreciation—this week and beyond.

There are even more ways to bring love from association leaders to members and supporters this Valentine’s season. Lyndsey Hrabik of Nonprofit Hub details why organizations should show their donors gratitude, appreciation, and just how much they matter.

New York Times media critic David Carr. (Web Summit/Flickr)

Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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