As I sit down in mid-August to write this edition of Editor’s Notes, I’m thinking back to last August, specifically to a time before terrorists forever altered our sense of tranquility. Now I’m not one to wax poetic, but I am remembering fondly the days when TV show “survivors” were top of mind instead of all-too-real Middle Eastern terrorist cells and ominous-sounding security measures here at home.
I was in New York City recently, and I paid my respects at Ground Zero. The swift clean-up operation going on there is a true testament to our nation’s “can do” attitude. As I stood there for a few minutes watching the workmen moving decisively about, I was filled with a deep sense of pride that my country can get up from its knees so quickly.
With September 2002 looming, I’m wondering what, if anything, will transpire on the anniversary of that fateful day in 2001. Hopefully, we’ll be spared any more tragic events. In the meantime, all we can do is what we are doing: going about our lives as usual—working, shopping, running errands, enjoying family and friends.
But I do sense a different tone to these everyday transactions. Perhaps you’ve felt it, too. There’s a sense of waiting, of bracing ourselves for unknown events. Pundits claim that part of the big picture surrounding the stalled economy is an underlying feeling of uneasiness among buyers. As a cataloger, all you can do, in reality, is to hang on through these tough times.
One way to weather the consumer pull-back is to reduce your expenses. In his column this month, Stephen Lett offers some terrific advice in this regard, including using a printer that can maximize destination discounts, re-using photography when applicable and employing good data-hygiene techniques. See page 51 for more of Steve’s actionable tips.
Other business survival strategies include creative ways to boost your revenue streams. In her article “The Team Approach”, writer Gretchen Kirby Peck, examines blow-in and bind-in inserts, package inserts and other methods available to catalogers who want to supplement sales.
Finally, in our cover story you’ll read how Hello Direct is using today’s cutting-edge printing and production technologies to attract new customers and retain its current customer base. We hope you find these stories helpful and informative.
Until next month ...