LETTER: Test Your Articles Before You Print Them

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I recently turned 50 and have spent most of my adult life in the direct marketing industry. For the past nine years, I have operated a small consulting firm in that direct marketing mecca, Cedar Rapids, IA. Throughout my career, I have been mentored and influenced by many of the most knowledgeable people in the industry. I have also subscribed to your publication since 1985. While none of these factors may have imparted any wisdom, they give me license to be a curmudgeon. (The late Dick Benson is one of my heroes.)


For most of the 15 years I've been reading DM News, your pages have been filled with the knowledge, advice and opinions of most of the industry's legends. These articles contributed to my own personal credo, "I will help my clients sell more goods and services more profitably." I know it's nothing revolutionary. However, that credo has always led me to evaluate the content of your articles by asking, "How will this help me help my clients, etc.?" Increasingly, as I read article after article by "Flash-in-the-pan Consultant A" (one of whom dared to insult the memory of David Ogilvy) or the president of "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.com," I find the answer to be, "I don't know." Perhaps, you might wish to consider applying a similar test before publishing an article: "How will this help our readers, and what proof do we have that it will?"
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