Snap out of industry stress

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Our news editor, Nancy Kearney, bought me a lovely bag of chocolate biscotti this week as part of our team's "Secret Santa" exhange -- and I must confess that every time I read about some bad industry news, I've been eating them. Omnicom shedding 3,500 jobs? Pop a biscotti. Online ads slowing? Munch, munch. Automakers downsizing their ad budgets like a Shrinky Dink? Chew, chew -- gulp -- swallow.

But obviously, inhaling calories in response to economic woes and tightening marketing budgets is not a helpful response. Instead, marketers need to -- as Cher declared in one of my favorite films, Moonstruck -- "Snap out of it!" Sure, times are bad. Sure, many folks' jobs are on the line. But this is also a time for marketers to hunker down and think about how they can do their jobs better -- in the direct marketing world, of course, that means figuring out how to reach the right targets at the right time with the right creative. It can be a time to challenge yourself, to learn about new technologies, to set specific goals, and to look beyond the immediate tough times towards long-term solutions.

It can also be a good time to take a holiday break to recharge and regroup -- to drink that eggnog, dress up for that holiday party and drive out to see your friends and family. Even DMNews is taking a week off -- after you see our 12/22 issue, our next edition will be out on 1/5. And we'll have plenty of news you can use when you return in 2009.

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