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#182 A Copywriter's Toughest Assignment
Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, March 8, 2023


 #182 Blog Post – Wednesday, 8 March 2023




Posted by Denny Hatch



The Toughest Assignment

A Copywriter Could Have.


The Donald Trump Legal Defense Funddoes not exist. I made it up.


Does Donald Trump need a Legal DefenseFund? You bet your sweet bippy he does.


For starters, the Trump Organization hasalready been fined $1.6 million for tax fraud (hardly chickenfeed). As aresult, Trump CFO Alan Weisselberg is currently serving five months in the Riker’sIsland slammer.


Donald Trump may be very rich, butguilty verdicts in upcoming legal actions could result in astronomical finesand penalties that could run into ten figures.


Among the CurrentActions Against Trump.

Indications from the U.S. Departmentof Justice and the state of Georgia that a breathtaking number of criminal andcivil actions against Donald Trump seem to be coalescing with indictmentsimminent. The defense costs will be huge. Among them:


• TheJustice Department's investigation and potential indictments into efforts tooverturn the 2020 election.


• The DOJ’s following the breadcrumbs that led to the January 6thinsurrection and mayhem. Actually “breadcrumbs” is a misnomer. Emails and40,000 hours of video coverage are a veritable trail of baguettes!


• The Fulton County election interference probe.


•Fulton County Poll Workers (Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss) v. Trump 


• TheMar-a-Lago classified documents dust-up.


• The Manhattan DA's investigation into the hush-money settlement to Stormy Daniels.


•Capitol Police officers’ lawsuit against Trump for the January 6th pandemonium,injuries and death.


A bellwether example of the humongous amountsof money involved is the Trump-related Dominion Voting Systems’ defamationlawsuit against Fox News — its management (Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch), famous salariednewscasters, journalists and guest commentators. The amount Dominion wants: $1.6billion.


About the Donald Trump Legal
Defense Fund Copy Assignment

A couple of weeks ago I had a passingthought: what if I were contacted to write and design a fundraising mailing forTrump? The assignment would be fascinating as well as hugely rewarding.


• What would the mailing look like?

• What would be the message?

• Who are the reported 40 million-or-so Trumpsupporters whose heads I would have to get into in order to persuade them to ponyup cash?

• What research must be done before sittingdown to create the mailing?


This Blog Post SharesWith You How an Old-time

Direct Mail CopywriterGoes About His Business

1.First,put politics aside. My job is to bring in cash, not make a statement.


2. Always keep in mind the seven key copy drivers— the seven emotional hot buttons that make people act: fear – greed – guilt – anger– exclusivity – salvation - flattery. "If your copy isn't positively dripping with one or more of these, tear it up and start over." —Bob Hacker


3.WaltWeintz, an early boss and copy chief once said to me: “Always start with theoutside envelope. It fixes the project in your head — the look, the offer, thesense of the thing. Most likely it won’t be the final envelope. But it gets youstarted.” So, before anything I wrote and designed the OSE above.


4.Immediatethoughts on this first-draft envelope: This is asking Trump donors forcontributions to a defense fund. The money will be going to rich lawyers and payinghuge fines. This is an immediate downer for Trump’s millions of hard working low-and middle income followers struggling to make a living. Many will trash theenvelope without opening it. For this reason, I included freemiums — “INSIDE:TWO FREE GIFTS! This should spark curiosity and get more envelopes opened.What are the free gifts? I have no idea now. But I’ll figure out somethingalong the way.


The Research: Getting toKnow Trump

And His 40 MillionDonors — Intimately.

Direct Marketing is what Stan Rappcalls “intimate advertising” — one writer talking to one reader or viewer witha profound personal me-to-you message. Good direct mail changes behavior. It results in a response, an inquiry,a free trial request, a sale (with a money-back guarantee of satisfaction) or acontribution.


To be successful in Direct Marketing it isimperative to get inside the head of the person you’re writing to — think how hethinks, feel what she feels — and mentally become that person. This is the sametechnique Method actors use to make the characters they portray on stage andscreen come alive.


In addition, for this assignment I have towrite in the voice of Donald Trump. He’s the only person his aficionados wantto hear from. So, the first order of business is to learn all about DonaldTrump.


The Yinand Yang of Donald Trump. Nothing

Like HimHas Ever Existed on Planet Earth

When Queens County, NY real estatedeveloper Fred Trump assumed room temperature on June 25, 1999, his net worthwas $250 million dollars ($450 million in 2022 dollars).


Donald Trump inherited a humongousfortune and has spent his entire business life as the perpetuallypersecuted and angry victim with a vast menu of grievances. 


According to Forbes, DonaldTrump’s net worth today in $3.2 billion dollars. In his four years as President2016-2020) he was the most powerful — and most famous — man in the world.


His high-on-the-hog lifestyle isenviable. One passion is golf. He’s the owner of 16 golf resorts around theworld (12 Trump-owned golf properties in the United States, two in Scotland,one in Ireland and one in the United Arab Emirates.)


What’smore, Donald Trump has built a following of millions who idolize him. Researchhas found the majority of his “base” most likely is found among the 83.9 million householdsscraping by paycheck-to-paycheck. They wake up every morning with a renewedsense of dread.


Theyfeel betrayed by the system—the so-called “Establishment.” All had been raisedto believe “America is the greatest country on earth.” Their lifestyles would certainlybe better than their parents’, and they would earn more money. Instead, theyare struggling to pay bills and enslaved by credit card debt.


Theseare the forgotten Americans. The Establishment has let them down. Donald Trumphas remembered them and touched their deep heart’s core — giving them hope —with a magical phrase:



I can think of three other leaders in humanhistory that communicated a powerful vision of salvation and happiness. Theyare: Jesus, Mohammad and Siddhartha Gautama (a.k.a. The Buddha.) Today, the four have 5.1 billion followers worldwide.


Whatever the Outcomes,No. 45 Is in a Bind.
He Needs Lawyers andMoney to Pay Them

Donald Trump isreportedly having a difficult time finding lawyers to represent him in partbecause they want to be paid,” New York Times political reporter MaggieHaberman sniped Sunday. “You are seeing many fewer lawyers who are willing togo out and speak for him and/or hitch their wagon [to him] and maybe not getpaid — which is a big thing,” Haberman told host Abby Phillip on CNN’s “InsidePolitics.”


“The Trump Files: Trump’s Long Historyof Getting Sued by His Own Lawyers.”
—Max J. Rosenthal, Mother Jones



As a result of Trump’s battles withlawyers over many years, no top-level, world-class attorney will go near himwith a pair of ten-foot tongs. He has to settle for lesser lights with littleexperience on the international stage. In February 2022 I stumbled on Trump’s recent addition to his legal team,38-year-old Alina Habba, Managing Partner of Habba, Madalo & Associates LLPbased in Bedminster, New Jersey (site of one of Donald Trump’s U.S. Golfproperties).



Alina Habba


Checkout my blog post on Habba:



From Habba’s CV:

“AlinaHabba is 39-years old and “has experience in many areas of litigationincluding, but not limited to, corporate litigation and formation, commercialreal estate (transactional and litigation), family law, the financial servicesindustry and construction-related matters.”


Inshort, this seems to be scant experience for dealing with the complex life,wondrous lifestyle and wild activities of the former president.


Reviews of Alina Habbas’s Work

• “U.S.District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks of Southern Florida, who threw out  the suit in September, said in a scathing46-page ruling that Trump, his lead attorney Alina Habba, and her law firm werejointly liable for $937,989.”

—Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone



And the lawsuit alleges that Habba earlier this year lost her cool whenshe suffered a legal defeat to New York Attorney General Letitia James, who isBlack—angrily shouting, “I hate that Black bitch!”

—JosePagliery, Daily Beast



What Triggered This Blog Post?

Iwoke up one morning last week thinking about Trump’s predicament—the suddenrecent coalescence of the myriad lawsuits, DOJ rumblings and multiple grandjury activities vis-à-vis Donald Trump. He would need money — tons of it —  to pay his legal bills. Pots and pots ofdough.


Whatif somebody called and asked me to consider writing copy for Donald Trump’sLegal Defense Fund? Absolutely not. For openers, the odds are that I would get stiffed:


“Donald Trump castshimself as a protector of workers and jobs, but a USA TODAY NETWORKinvestigation found hundreds of people – carpenters, dishwashers, painters,even his own lawyers – who say he didn’t pay them for their work.

—Steve Reilly, USA TODAY



A certain commander inchief has a long history of being accused of screwing over the little guy 

—JeffSpross, The Week

Donald Trump’s Future



Facinga blizzard of criminal and civil actions against him — coupled with hisinability to get exceptional legal help — The Donald should not fare well. My bet: facing gargantuan fines Trumpwill likely vanish, opting to spend the the rest of his days in luxury as a fugitive rather than a jailbird. Where to? The world is Trump’s oyster. Below is a map ofcountries (in brown) that do not have an extradition treaty with the U.S.



Takeaways to Consider

• Atwhat point will Donald Trump be deemed a flight risk?


• Does Donald Trump’s claim hold water that DOJ’s persecution of him is a political vendetta? Well…  uh… didn’t Trump (in league with MitchMcConnell) cost Merrick Garland his seat on the Supreme Court — a gloriouscareer capstone, cushy sinecure and a life with national approbation? You bethe judge.




Word count:  1647




The Most Fun You Can Have
In the English Language
At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—wrote his first news release for a Connecticut summer theater. To his astonishment it ran verbatim in The Middletown Press.He was instantly hooked on writing. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1958-60), Denny had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business. He was fired from five of them and went on to save two businesses and start three others. One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletterand archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 yearshe has been a book club director, magazine publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor, journalist and marketing consultant. He is the author of four published novels and seven books on business and marketing.



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