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#142 Moonlight!!
Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert Denny Hatch -- Direct Mail Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Philadelphia, PA
Tuesday, January 4, 2022



#142 Blog Post – DATE


Posted by Denny Hatch


How to Double Your Income:

Moonlight for Freelance Clients!


Alas, David Ogilvy Could Have

Changed My FalteringCareer.


After I got out of the Army (as a two-year draftee) in 1960 I hadnine different jobs over the next 12 years.


I was fired from five of them.


Just about every new boss that hired me warned that if I werecaught moonlighting I would be summarily fired. In the words of Bill Goring at Meredith: “You’reworking for us. We expect absolute loyalty and 110% of your time.”


Amazingly,I had acquired a highly marketable skill when I was 15years old. It would have brought in  glorious extra cash when I was eking out a low-to-mid three-figure-a-week salary and scraping by paycheck-to-paycheck over those bleak 12 years.


My First Business Skill

As a kid, I thought I maybe wanted a career in theater. In the summer of1951. I worked as a paying apprentice (intern) at the Ivoryton, Connecticut Playhouse.Late in the season, the wonderful publicity director—hard drinking, heavy-smokingex-Ziegfeld Follies dancer Evelyn Lawson—took me under her wing and schooledme in the business of publicity and public relations. ”


By the end of summer, Evelyn was tired and wanted to get home toCape Cod. She assigned me the task of creating a press release announcing thefinal play of the season—Dream Girl by Elmer Rice starring Judy Holliday,winner of the 1951 Academy Award for Best Actress in Born Yesterday.


Evelyn coached me through writing the two-page release, typingthe A.B. Dick blue stencil and running it on the hand-cranked inky-stinky mimeograph machine, typingthe 14 envelopes, collating, stapling, folding and inserting the release, lickingthe envelope flaps and stamps and marching them over to the post office.

The following week my press release ran verbatim in the MiddletownPress and three other local area papers. I was stunned. My parents were over the moon—seeing their kid in print at age 15. 


Best of all, Dream Girl was SRO all week!


I became hooked on writing and never looked back.


Later I wrote a ton of press releases—for the Army Public Information Office and as part ofmy first jobs with a succession of book publishers. Over many years I had myriad offers to do freelancepublicity.


Alas, throughout my checkered career I was scared to death ofmoonlighting, appearing disloyal and being fired. Yet, I was fired from five jobs.


Example of a firing: Walter Weintz’s major account was the Republican NationalCommittee. When the Watergate scandal broke, Republican fundraising tanked big time. Walterlost the account. He had the choice of canning me or letting go his son, Todd. I was Watergate collateraldamage.


Thirty Years Too Late I Stumbled

Across This Memo fromDavid Ogilvy!


Memo to Directors. 


January 17, 1973




It gives them experience.


It gives them more sense ofresponsibility.


It increases their income—at no cost tous.


I learned this dodge from Dr. [George]Gallup. He paid us miserably but encouraged us to moonlight.


Rosser Reeves [legendary advertisingcopywriter] did a lot of it. So did I. One year I made more—farmore—moonlighting than I did at the agency. And it sharpened my wits.


Anyone who opposes moonlighting is apettifogger.


Only two rules. Chaps must notmoonlight on competing accounts or for other agencies, and they must not becaught doing the work in office hours.



Takeawaysto Consider


Advice from Bob Teufel, President of Rodale,

On Freelancing After I was Canned by Walter Weintz.


• "If you are goodat what you do—and have good people skills—go freelance."

• "You’ll work harder than you ever have in your life, make more money and havemore fun than you ever imagined."


• "If you get fired, you are still working."


• "The ultimate joy: youcan fire clients you don’t like."


• "Spread out your work. Ifyou promise to meet deadlines too close together, you will miss at least one ofthem and lose the client."


• "Never rely on a singleclient or customer for more than 25% of your total revenue.


• "Always make time tosell when you are busiest. Lining up new business is hard, tedious work—especiallyif the sales cycles are long. An individual or company can become consumed bycurrent projects. Once these are completed, nothing new in the hopper can meantrouble ahead."


•"Always go first class.Customers and clients like the aura of success. Dress well and entertainthemwell. The Weintz Agency does world-class work. Walt drives a Mercedes. He frequents the best restaurants. He takes me fishing on his 58’ BristolTrawler and invites me for trout fishing weekends at the exclusive Megantic Fish andGame Club in Maine. It doesn’t get any better than that!"




Word count: 811


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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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