Our View: Delay DMCNY Voting at Least a Month to Truly Explore the Options

Something troubles us about this week’s vote of the Direct Marketing Club of New York board on whether to become a chapter of the Direct Marketing Association. In a letter to DM News, club president Vito Fortuna expressed his opinion that the board would be doing the members an injustice by “not exploring this opportunity.”

But the board vote March 26 is not to explore an opportunity. The vote is on whether to become a chapter of the DMA. That’s vastly different. And, the decision will take place without a vote from the full membership.

We agree with Fortuna’s sentiment that the opportunity ought to be explored. For this reason, we urge the board to acknowledge that the issue bears further analysis and dialogue and to hold off on the vote.

Fortuna told DM News that, despite a membership decline from 650 a year ago to 275 today, he doesn’t have “a valid plan on how we can move forward in this competitive time.” He also notes that two major promotions are in the works, one to renew present members and another to reactivate expired members.

In our opinion, common sense dictates a postponement of the decision for at least one month, perhaps two or three. During this time, the board will have the chance to review the results of the membership mailings as well as fully analyze the pros and cons.

Fortuna and his fellow board members also can use the time to explore the generous offers of assistance that have been made to the club. DMA Hall-of-Famer Lee Epstein has said he will do whatever he has to do to ensure the DMCNY does not become a DMA chapter, “even if I have to finance it myself.”

At least three industry publications, including this one, have offered assistance with mailing lists and other promotions that will benefit the club. These are the things that ought to be explored at this time.

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