John F. 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

Reinventing Direct is for the direct marketer seeking guidance in the evolving world of online marketing. Gary Hennerberg is a mind code marketing strategist, based on the template from his new book, "Crack the Customer Mind Code." He is recognized as a leading direct marketing consultant and copywriter. He weaves in how to identify a unique selling proposition to position, or reposition, products and services using online and offline marketing approaches, and copywriting sales techniques. He is sought-after for his integration of direct mail, catalogs, email marketing, websites, content marketing, search marketing, retargeting and more. His identification of USPs and copywriting for clients has resulted in sales increases of 15 percent, 35 percent, and even as high as 60 percent. Today he integrates both online and offline media strategies, and proven copywriting techniques, to get clients results. Email him or follow Gary on LinkedIn. Co-authoring this blog is Perry Alexander of ACM Initiatives. Follow Perry on LinkedIn.

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

1963 was a momentous year in America: President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington and, somewhat less heralded by all but the most fervent postal historians, the ZIP code was introduced. Since its founding in 1775, the post office relied on hand sorting based on local addresses to get mail where it was supposed to go. A piece of mail often went through 10 postal workers before making it to its recipient. But by the 1940s

When Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, he tweeted: "We just made history … All of this happened because of you." It was one of the moments which led pundits to compare him to John F. Kennedy in the way both embraced the new technologies of their respective eras to get them to the White House. If JFK was the first ever television president, they said, then Obama was the first Twitter president.

I can't say goodbye to the 2008 campaign without a tip of the hat to Tina Fey, the wickedly funny clone of vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin.

Fey left me weak with laughter after every appearance. Her rise and fall as Palin lasted a mere nine weeks. When the two of them appeared together on "Saturday Night Live," it was tough to tell them apart. (See hyperlink below.)

Fey has a distinguished career going for her. After studying drama at the University of Virginia and a long gig as a cast member at Chicago's legendary The Second City, she joined NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and became the only female head writer in the show's history. She has her own show now, "30 Rock," but made an "SNL" encore for this election season.

Tina Fey is a brilliant talent with many strings to her bow. Spend some time on her page in the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). You'll be dazzled by her many accomplishments. (See hyperlink below.)

Her performances as Palin were, for me, yet another bite into the Proustian Madeleine cake that called up the past—this time the saga of the sad-sack comedian who pioneered political impersonations.

His name was Vaughn Meader—a one-trick pony who was responsible the best-selling long-playing record in history.

This is not about the Iraq War and America’s possible withdrawal. It’s about the Pentagon’s top leaders behaving like amateurs and how The New York Times exploited their ineptitude by publishing a devastating photograph, presumably to further its own foreign policy agenda. Whether you are in the military or the private sector, always remember that the media—although chumps themselves—thrive on making others look like chumps. Horses don’t sell newspapers or garner TV ratings. Horses’ asses do. Flip-Flops in the White House? On July 19, 2005, a photograph was taken of the Northwestern University lacrosse team with President Bush in front of the White

I damn near did not get today’s column done. I started reading Jack Valenti’s memoir, “This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White House and Hollywood” and it grabbed me by the throat and would not let go. Valenti, a World War II bomber pilot who flew 51 missions over Italy, died at age 85 on April 26, just six weeks before publication. In the following half-century after his discharge from the Army Air Corps, Jack Valenti bestrode the mighty worlds of Washington and Hollywood like a colossus, quite a feat for someone a mere five foot five inches tall.

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