NEW YORK - The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is looking beyond its own medium and implementing a PR campaign to direct marketers and the general public to assure them of the safety of opening direct-mail promotions.
Preferring to keep the effort in-house rather than tap project agency The MWW Group, Louis Mastria, the DMA's director of public and international affairs, said he has spoken to media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and others with his message that it's OK for people to handle their mail. Direct mail, he said, is a $528-billion-a-year sector.
In addition to making the public and its members aware of the DMA's guidelines, the DMA is communicating with the US Postal Service's postal inspection service, consumer groups, bioterrorist experts, and law enforcement officials so it can alter its response or issue additional guidelines if needed.
'We're getting near the holiday shopping season, and that's a big deal,' said Mastria. 'We've been lucky; we've gotten a good deal of press coverage, and our members have responded pretty rapidly.'
Mastria said the point he most wants the media to understand is the substantial difference between the appearance of mail that may contain a threat and professionally packaged direct mail.
'We're trying to say there is some perspective here,' said Mastria. 'We should be vigilant, but I don't think it's appropriate to assume the mail represents an ongoing threat.'
If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.