Ummmmmmm.... Good question, Echo. (Oh, and superb analysis of the Case Writers portfolio, by the way.) ¶ In our little world, where we pretty much get to write and design whatever we think is best, working with a group of clients who want exactly that, every "normal" element is questionable. In fact, you start each day with this question, "What if everything I think I know is wrong?" ¶ In other words, if something normally goes first (like a CEO's letter), you ask WHY? How did it earn that pride of place? Is it maybe just a convention that no one's ever questioned? ¶ "Everybody else does it. We should, too!" That's how a lot of nonprofit communications have ended up in the sad, non-lucrative, donor-ignoring, under-performing state they're in. ¶ Is it [one asks] these days maybe even a REALLY BAD IDEA to put that letter first? ¶ See, now we have a lot more neuroscience handy than we had back in 1950, when this convention might have been hatched. "Anchoring," for instance, was discovered in the 1970s by two Israeli psychologists (one became a Nobel Prize winner). ¶ "Anchoring," in reductive lay terms, discovered that whatever comes first sets the framework. So let's assume the president's letter comes first. IF that letter is a cumulus cloud of BS crossed with PR crossed with jargon crossed with smiley faces, then basically the framework the anchoring just set up is this: "Here we go again. The usual crap." On the other hand, IF that president's letter is like the one that opens the billion-dollar-plus "Yale Tomorrow" case (2008), it will talk about the university being in its sunset years ... unless there's a HUGE infusion of donations as fast as possible. Yale went over-goal.