Caroline Kennedy

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

The presidential memo under IN THE NEWS came to my inbox, and I printed it out. It was the 751st e-mail I received from the Obama organization since the first effort I received back on March 5, 2008, titled, “What Happened Today.”

This one stunned me—the real deal, the actual take-no-prisoners, kick-ass directive to the cabinet and intel agencies from a controlled but obviously furious president ordering them to cease and desist the turf wars and set up an information sharing system pronto. Implied: “or else ...”

Back in March 2009, I requested to be put on the Obama e-mail list and sent a small donation. I have saved all Obama organization communications (so far) in my computers as a record of the most successful outreach to voters by a politician in the history of the world.

“Money is the mother’s milk of politics,” said the late Jesse H. “Big Daddy” Unruh, speaker of the California State Assembly.

Since 2007, the Obama campaign has built a database of 3.1 million supporters and raised more than $700 million, surpassing what all the candidates from both major parties combined collected in private donations in 2004.

It doesn't matter whether you like Obama, hate Obama or are somewhere in between. If you are in business—any business, consumer, B-to-B or nonprofit—and do not monitor how this extraordinary organization communicates with its constituency and prospects via e-mail, you're a damn fool.

This guy is a great communicator, and we can all learn from him.

Is Touchy-Feely Customer Research the Way to Go? March 23, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 23 IN THE NEWS Best Buy thinks outside the big box In several concept stores located in the Midwest, Best Buy is gathering data about consumer behavior in retail outlets that are quite different from the "big box" stores normally associated with America's largest consumer electronics retailer. The new stores, with names like Eq-life, Studio d and Escape, are helping Best Buy understand how to improve the shopping experience of a new class of technology buyers. —Tom Krazit, C/, March 21, 2006 Brad Anderson is CEO of Best

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