DMA tackles the do-not-mail threat

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In an effort to better educate the public about the possible impacts of do-not-mail legislation, the Direct Marketing Associa­tion plans to enlist the help of the direct marketing community to act as spokes­people in the next phase of its education campaign on the subject.

“There are a lot of issues facing the direct marketing community and we want to get the word out there about what's going on as well as quell any misconceptions,” said Sue Geramian, SVP, communications, media and PR at the DMA.

So far this year, there have been 14 do-not mail-bills proposed in 11 states. Hawaii, New York and Washington each have laws in both the state House and the Senate. Other states with bills in one legislative body are Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont.

The DMA plans to enlist a group of a dozen or so “charismatic CEOs” who are willing and capable of talking to the media and telling their story in a compelling way, Geramian said. “We really want to put a human face on the direct marketing com­munity,” she said.

A few people have already pledged their support for the project, although Geramian declined to release any names at this time.

The DMA will also be soliciting market­ers to participate in a documentary-style YouTube video campaign. And the asso­ciation will also be setting up a speakers' bureau database.

“Let's say there's a morning show and they want to do something — they'll know that they can call us as a resource and we can get them in touch with the right people or vice versa,” Geramian said.

The DMA hopes to solicit participants from direct marketing companies of all sizes, including those with traditional and new media experience. “We want it to be very representative,” Geramian said. She added that the association will be seeking help from catalog, nonprofit, b-to-b, tech, financial, mobile and Hispanic and other ethnic marketers.

“Direct marketing as a community is so vital to each and every one of our lives that we need really to pump up the volume and get the word out there,” Geramian said. “We all understand the situation out there and we're in it together,” she said.

The DMA will also provide a new tool kit with print and online materials. More information will be provided at the ACCM conference in Orlando, she said.

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