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Direct industry aids relief efforts

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The mailing industry has been doing its part to help direct marketers and victims alike in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Last week, the Direct Marketing Association asked members to contribute goods, services and monetary support to help those affected by the disaster. Its new Committee on Social Responsibility, formed earlier this summer, will coordinate donations from member companies.

In addition, the DMA's Nonprofit Federation issued guidelines for individuals to help assure their donations are going to reputable, trusted charitable organizations rather than unscrupulous individuals or companies.

Both print auditors-BPA Worldwide and the Audit Bureau of Circulations-have issued advisories to members regarding the storm's effects on its media members.

List rental companies, including American List Counsel, Datagence, MKTG Services and Rubin Response Management Services, announced they will suppress at no charge the addresses in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina on all list orders, and data processing service Anchor Computer indicated it is not charging its clients to suppress those affected ZIP codes.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service continues to post updates at its Web site regarding post office closings and mail delivery suspensions still in place in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. The site contains a list of ZIP codes where mail is still suspended.

In addition, the USPS has assigned a ZIP code to the Houston Astrodome for general mail delivery to hurricane victims, and is working to set up ZIP codes for other sites housing evacuees.

Finally, shippers DHL International, Federal Express and United Parcel Service of America, have all posted updates on their Web sites regarding those areas where deliveries are either suspended or impaired as a result of the hurricane.

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