Jul 25

Response July: Swimming With a Shark and the Power of Family

This time, I made it before the end of the month in question! Here’s a look at some of the key pieces of Response‘s July issue.

Daymond John

Daymond John graces Response’s July cover.


  • Our cover story on FUBU Founder Daymond John came to us via one of our best and longest-termed Advisory Board members, Mike Medico of E+M Advertising. This one was a long haul, as we spent about five months with John‘s team working out timing of the story, while also trying (but not quite succeeding … this time) to bring him in as a speaker at Response Expo 2012. The E+M team was a fantastic helper in moving along the negotiations, along with John’s very accessible PR group. The interview was a pleasure, as the star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” spent extra time explaining his business interests and chatting about his initial toe-dip into DRTV. He’s a very interesting man, and with the help of long-time Response freelance photographer Dario Acosta, I think we were able to capture a story that lives up to John’s track record. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is again: Swimming With Sharks
  • A feature I didn’t write but was excited to shepherd along was the story about a new generation of direct response industry offspring taking on leadership roles. The idea was pitched to me originally by the always imaginitive Karla Crawford Kerr of Hawthorne Direct (who, with Tim Hawthorne and Jessica Hawthorne-Castro in the house, sees one of these relationships up close just about every day). Along with freelance writer Doug McPherson, we found a great cross section of families hard at work in DRTV, and actually queried another great 5-7 families who didn’t respond to be included. Don’t miss this one: All in the Family
  • Finally, both of those stories helped inspire my Editor’s Note column for July. The ideas of doing good business and doing business well often seem to clash in this age of overwhelming corporate greed. To see the success stories on display in this issue featuring a taste of family kindess and care is inspiring, especially during times where many of us could use the inspiration. To check out my column, once again, here’s the link: From Bloodlines to the Bottom Line

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!


Jul 07

Response June: Money Mailer, Social Media and a Growing Market

Better late than never, here’s a look at my work in Response‘s June issue!

Money Mailer’s Chris Rimlinger leads Response’s June issue.

Our cover story on Money Mailer’s marketing leader Chris Rimlinger was a bit of a late bloomer, coming to us after a couple of other opportunities dropped out. But that turned out to be a lucky break, as Rimlinger was a pleasure to deal with and a very thoughtful interviewee. Not only that, but the size and scope of Money Mailer as a direct response marketer, via print, Web and mobile, was a surprise to me once we delved into the story. Money Mailer not only services hundreds of local communities across the U.S., but it’s also one of the leading franchise ownership opportunities in the country. To learn more, here’s the link once again: The Deal Is in the Mail

The latest Response Advisors’ Forum, about the growing power of social media, became a Web exclusive when the print version was cut for space. But that allowed for us to run all of our experts’ answers in their entirety. As usual, the opinions were varied as some believe social media is a perfect DR outlet whose measurability is truly underrated at this moment. Meanwhile, others still have questions about social’s viability as a standalone DR opportunity. To hear from the industry’s experts on social media in DR, click here: A Social Solution

Finally, my Editor’s Note column for June talks about some of the positive financial statistics that are trickling out in the DR space of late, questioning why so many folks you speak with in the industry still seem to downplay the industry’s health. The idea came up when researching recent media stats for a different project, but those numbers are hard to dispute: direct response is getting healthier every day, and often at a faster pace than other, more touted marketing mechanisms. To read my thoughts, here’s the link: Most DR Indicators Are Up

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Feb 22

Response February: Growing Hair, Inside Jerry’s ‘Circus’ and a Rant on the DRMA’s 5th

Once again this month, rather than just putting links on Facebook and Twitter with my Response Magazine stories, I figured I’d transition the links to a single blog post that I could then link to said social media. Plus, this forum gives me a little space to expand on each story and give you some deeper background.

  • The February cover features Bosley’s Rob Spurrell. The story actually grew out of an initial call with Steven Aquavia, the director of marketing for the Beverly Hills-based leader in hair-loss solutions and medical hair restoration. Steven will be a featured speaker at Response Expo 2012 in San Diego this May. I was intrigued by the 37-year old company’s marketing story, and Steven kindly linked me to Rob, a 15-year veteran at Bosley. Rob was an intriguing interview, especially when discussing the company’s huge success the past two years, despite marketing a high-priced “vanity” service in a down economy. If you missed the story link above, here it is again: “No Splitting Hairs”

    Bosley, Jerry and a rant.

    Bosley's Rob Spurrell leads the way into the latest issue of Response.

  • Our February issue also includes an exclusive interview with TV talk legend Jerry Springer. Why Jerry? Well, aside from the obvious comedy of his over-the-top talk show that’s now in its 21st syndicated season, “Jerry” is a haven for DRTV advertisers. As NBC Universal’s Brian Levy, who pitched this story to me in autumn 2011, knows from his experience with that company’s syndicated program media offerings, “The Jerry Springer Show” has brought tremendous success to its advertiser base. Even more impressive than Springer’s self-deprecating sense of humor over the phone, however, was his own clear knowledge of why his show works for DRTV advertisers. Once again, if you missed that first link, here’s your second chance to read my one-on-one with Jerry Springer: “Springer’s ‘Circus'”
  • Finally, my monthly Editor’s Note column touches upon the fifth anniversary of the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA), the magazine’s associated networking group that I helped found. We’re happy that the DRMA has, to this point, fulfilled its mission, and clearly our members and the leaders of our business deserve the lions’ share of the credit for that. However, we’ve experienced — first hand, time and time again — the high costs, the red tape and the petty politics most people experience when dealing with less-effective industry trade groups. There’s no doubt that the avoidance of these things has been a boon to the DRMA’s success thus far. Again, here’s the link if you missed it above: The DRMA at 5

Once again, thanks for reading and interacting with Response!