Millard Fuller

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

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

What makes a professional the 2019 Marketer of the Year? It’s more than them earning your respect. Target Marketing is looking for brand marketers — not vendors or agency professionals — whose careers embody everything that’s great about marketing. We also want your nominations for the brightest Rising Stars.

President Obama's words at a White House Ramadan gathering Aug. 13, 2010 regarding a mosque being opened near the Ground Zero 9/11 site:

As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.

In terms of the Constitution, the message was spot-on and not debatable. Many on the Left, Right and Center agreed with him.

Shortly thereafter Newt Gingrich committed what Mike Barnicle labeled “political pyromania” (see “IN THE NEWS” at right) and dropped an “N” bomb by equating Muslims to Nazis—pouring gasoline on what might have remained a brush fire.

The following day, President Obama caved. "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there,” he said in response to a reporter’s question. What was intended as nuance was pounced on by the media as a John Kerry flip-flop; where he was for the mosque before, now he was against it.

Suddenly the Ground Zero mosque took over the news.

Direct marketers who fail to take current news into consideration will be sunk by it,” wrote Martin Gross, author of “The Direct Marketer’s Idea Book.”

That a passenger went ballistic after waiting an hour-and-a-half for his luggage and wound up in police custody was unfortunate, but not surprising. Much is happening in the world to give us all angst—tight security and long lines at airports, the high price of oil and natural disasters. All can interrupt the normal patterns of our lives. Marketers have two choices: (1) Business as usual or (2) use news to enhance your business by scoring Brownie points with your customers and prospects (and perhaps making extra sales). This is old-fashioned PR, salesmanship and customer retention management. Savvy Hotel and Rental-car Marketers Last month when arrests were make in the

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