George H.W. Bush

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.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

When was the last time you checked your copy's grade level reading scores? American's reading ability is declining. And you could be writing over your prospective customer's ability to understand your message. In the U.S., average reading levels are at about the eighth grade level. But 1-in-5 U.S. adults read below a fifth grade level. And surprisingly, 14 percent of U.S. adults can't read

Chances are, no broccoli lobbying group is going to come down on Dean Witkin the way they did on former President George H.W. Bush when he said he didn't like the green, leafy substance. The difference is Witkin, sales director for Livonia, Mich.-based media and marketing services company Valassis, is advocating that marketers—who may not like the healthy vegetable that is analytics—do what is good for them in this economy and add in targeted marketing backed by analytics.

I was zipping around the Internet and bopping in and out of my e-mail when a Yahoo headline hit me in the face: “Tim Russert dies.” I clicked on the news story and couldn’t believe it. I still don’t. Russert’s passing at age 58 is a national catastrophe. Look out politicians. Beware business folks. In this GOTCHA! world, the goo-goos are gonna getcha. Memories of Tim Russert The last time I spent quality time with Russert was watching him on May 20, the night of the final major primaries in Kentucky and Oregon. He was pumped, bubbling with enthusiasm, his eyes shining.

Many years ago I was quoted in (I think) American Spectator as saying that 25% to 40% of national mail order charities are dishonest. It was a “pull quote”—one of the quotes in an article that is blown up and put in the middle of the page in order to titillate the reader. Shortly after the story broke, I received a call from a producer of the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and Connie Chung asking me if I would say that on camera. If so, they would send CBS reporter Richard Threlkeld and a film crew down to the Target Marketing magazine

Competent and organized, she spends time on the golf course Oct. 13, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 39 IN THE NEWS Raising Storm Relief Money, Ex-Presidents Try to Decide Where to Send It --Stephanie Strom The New York Times, Oct. 8, 2005 With Fanfare and Dollar Signs, Wie Scratches Her Professional Itch --Damon Hack The New York Times, Oct. 6, 2005 Regular readers of this column know that I have a mordant fascination with the juxtaposition of two seemingly unrelated news stories. Such is the case with former presidents Bush and Clinton having no

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