DMA Should Concentrate on Industry’s ‘Adult Problem’

DM News’ Oct. 24 editorial (“Shifting the Leadership Paradigm at DMA05”) has been lying on my desk since its arrival while I ask myself why I should bother you with the same old reaction to [Direct Marketing Association president/CEO] John Greco. But then I tell myself that as one of the older DM gurus still capable of concurrent – keeping two things in mind at the same time – thought, why not?

Firstly, while you undoubtedly acted from nothing but the noblest of motives, I don’t really see Greco accepting your offer to mail his magazine for FREE in the same package that might well include your comments about his imperfections. Why not offer him a regular column (which I can critique now and then)?

Secondly, as I point out in my books and in some of the comments you’ve been wise enough to print, the solution to any difficulty is to understand the problem. Concerning the DMA’s mission, that is not some BTB propaganda, it is not the tiny fraction of DMers who do not follow association guidelines, it is not even the competitive media who demonize us as junk mailers.

No, our major problem is with legislators who do not understand what we do and why it is critically important to our nation’s economy. Now if that is the case, then our DMA’s efforts should be focused on convincing those legislators of our worth. But rather than self-servingly having them hear from us, we should bend our efforts toward having those legislators hear from the business community we serve.

Let the DMA concentrate on networking with our nation’s leading corporate marketing staffs. When legislators propose rules and regulations that would negatively affect those corporations, call it to their attention and ask them to speak on their own behalf.

Once the DMA paradigmizes itself in that direction, it can play with association newsletters and other toys. Until then, it should stick to the adult problem we all face.

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