A Free Parting Gift, From Denny Hatch
The Joys of Working for a Private Company
Peggy and I were blessed. Quite simply, we owned our jobs.
At one point Peggy came up with an idea for a new trade magazine that would cover the catalog industry the way Target Marketing served the direct mail community.
“Sounds good,” said Ned. “Give us a proposal.”
Peggy presented a one-page précis describing the new publication.
Father and son scanned it and shrugged. “Looks good,” Irv said. “Let’s do it.”
Catalog Success was born and was profitable within a year.
Business doesn’t get more fun than that.
After five years, Target Marketing had gone from as little as 32 pages to fat issues of 232 pages — and more.
I got restless. Never comfortable as a manager in the corporate environment, my real love was (and remains) writing. So NAPCO and I cut a deal whereby I could pursue freelance consulting, writing and designing direct mail for clients and also keep writing for Target Marketing.
Peggy, meanwhile, took over as president of the Target Marketing Group.
She saved it from oblivion.
The Digital World
What ensued was a sea change in the publishing business model.
Suddenly print advertising started to tank. Ad page counts shrank. Publishers were forced to get their heads around the new, unwieldy beast called the Internet.
The choice was stark: morph to digital or die.
Quite simply, it was pure luck for North American Publishing Company that I left and Peggy took over. I could not have done it. Not only a superb manager of people, numbers cruncher and diplomat, Peggy is a conceptual thinker. I have none of these skills.
Amidst many months of management skepticism — Peggy transformed the business, taking it from 80 percent print to multiple brands, events and channels.