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Welcome help on the job.

Welcome help on the job

None of us has been able to escape the flood of mail sent to our homes selling everything from Aunt Millie's apple butter to zinc-clad bar bells. We've long since stopped wondering how our names get on mailing lists. We are sure that the weekly trash would be a lot lighter if we didn't have to dispose of all that stuff.

Actually, it's all part of the direct marketing strategy--a relatively inexpensive way to reach a mass market when selling universal products and services. Second- or third-class postage gets into every home, and the postman becomes a door-to-door salesman, however unwillingly.

Lately, more of these marketing-by-mail people have found a new field to plow--the factories and offices of America. Now, you may be getting flyers at work telling about ways to spend your company's money. Your mail-room personnel have become desk-to-desk salesmen. All of this has led some companies to take a hard look at the situation and conclude that distributing second- and third-class mail is not an effective use of manpower.

More and more companies are setting policies that forbid distribution of all but first-class mail within the company. This is particularly true of larger companies with thousands of employees. The US Postal Service says that's OK, because their obligation ends with delivery to the front door. After that, the mail legally belongs to the company to do with whatever it please.

What about magazines? Here's where we have a big problem. Trade magazines, such as this one, are sent second-class mail. No matter. We are lumped together with travel brochures and office furniture literature sent to your company address via third-class mail. The rules are not based on the usefulness of the material to the employees' jobs, just by the class of postage used to get it there.

We are not a consumer news magazine, nor a leisure-time activity publication. We don't write about stamp collecting or about flower arranging. Our entire editorial purpose is to provide manufacturing engineers with timely technical information directly related to the work they perform for their companies.

Because we are a qualified circulation magazine, our readers must request a subscription and qualify by job function. Only then can they receive the magazine free of charge. It's not mass mailed, but it's sent second-class.

It makes sense for us to send copies to our readers' company addresses, because that's where they do the type of work we write about. And, yes, we carry ads on fifty to sixty percent of our pages, because the ads are about tools and equipment used in their shops and are of vital concern to our readers. All of this information makes the companies our readers work for more competitive.

We have provisions for sending magazines to home addresses, but it seems to make much more sense to put information into peoples' hands at the place where such information is appropriately used--right on the desk of the manufacturing engineer and manufacturing engineering manager.

We'd like to believe that most companies would welcome all the help their employees could get. We feel sure these same companies would not stop delivery of the Wall Street Journal to their corporate executives, even though this useful paper also comes to the company via second-class mail.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:trade journals
Author:Green, Dick
Publication:Tooling & Production
Article Type:editorial
Date:May 1, 1989
Words:548
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