Alden Hatch

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

For some time, I've followed the spate of newspapers planning to fire the Associated Press and getting their news elsewhere, thank you very much. Papers planning to opt out:

Aug. 20, 2008: The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, the Yakima Herald-Republic and The Wenatchee World—all in Washington state—and The Bakersfield Californian.

Aug. 28, 2008: Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Oct. 16, 2008: The Tribune Co. (Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Fort Lauderdale's Sun Sentinel, the Orlando Sentinel, Red Eye of Chicago, Hartford Courant, the Baltimore Sun, The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. and the Daily Press of Newport News, Va.).

Yes, newspapers are taking a beating as a result of the lousy economy and, more importantly, advertisers migrating from print to digital. "The decline in [the top 25] newspapers' paid circulation is accelerating, according to new statistics today from the Audit Bureau of Circulations" wrote Nat Ives in AdAge.com this morning. "Papers' average weekday paid circulation fell to 38.2 million copies across the six months ending Sept. 30, down 4.64% from the equivalent period a year earlier. That's a faster fall than was seen this time last year, when the audit bureau reported just a 2.6% decline."

But is it smart for a newspaper (or any business for that matter) to commit hara-kiri—disemboweling itself in the scramble for savings?

What triggered this column was a letter to this publication from Anthony Greene in London on my musings last week about how to gussy up important e-mails in order to give them gravitas. In our exchange, he wrote: Thank you, Denny. A nice and utterly relevant piece. Your story about the Ticketmaster e-mail, and how much you appreciated their thoughtfulness, has reminded me of what I regard as one of the greatest missed opportunities in the history of marketing. Every time I use my American Express Centurion Card I cannot help but notice the following words printed on the front, “MEMBER SINCE 82”. So,

The Bush Administration is being terribly hurt by the media. The Government Accountability Office issued a report in January 2006 stating that the current administration in Washington spent $1.6 billion on public relations over 2-1/2 years. Of that, $1.1 billion was for military recruitment. That leaves $500 million for image building. Yet the president’s job approval rating is in the mid- to low 30s. What’s gone wrong? Dwight Eisenhower, Master of PR If you saw George C. Scott in “Patton,” you will recall the slapping scene. Patton, visiting grievously wounded and dying soldiers in a field hospital in Sicily, came upon Pvt. Charles H. Kuhl of the 26th Infantry

22 Candidates for Mayor of New Orleans? Preposterous! April 25, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 32 IN THE NEWS Nagin, Landrieu in New Orleans Runoff With 85 percent of precincts reporting, Nagin topped all candidates with 37 percent or 25,954 votes. Landrieu had 29 percent, or 20,274 votes. Nonprofit executive Ron Forman followed with 18 percent, 12,503 votes, and 19 other candidates trailed far behind. —Michelle Roberts, Associated Press Writer, The GuardianUnlimited (UK), April 23, 2006 In 1945, my father, historian and biographer Alden Hatch, was signed by Henry Holt & Co. to write a biography of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He

The Hierarchical Model vs. Hub-and-Spoke March 9, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 19 IN THE NEWS Bush in a bubble: Is he cut off from political reality? From Iraq to Katrina to the ports flap, many observers view him as insular. We have seen this phenomenon before--a cloistered president, fixed in his views and averse to compromise, often at odds with political reality. Democrat Woodrow Wilson was protected by a first lady who froze out even his closest aides. Democrat Lyndon Johnson raged against his domestic critics, calling them "communists" and "Harvards," and he wound up speaking only at military bases. Republican Richard

The Hierarchical Model vs. Hub-and-Spoke March 9, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 19 IN THE NEWS Bush in a bubble: Is he cut off from political reality? From Iraq to Katrina to the ports flap, many observers view him as insular. We have seen this phenomenon before--a cloistered president, fixed in his views and averse to compromise, often at odds with political reality. Democrat Woodrow Wilson was protected by a first lady who froze out even his closest aides. Democrat Lyndon Johnson raged against his domestic critics, calling them "communists" and "Harvards," and he wound up speaking only at military bases. Republican Richard

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