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September 01, 2011

Publisher's Note

Letter from John Fleming, September 2011


John FlemingOur cover story this month explores one of the hottest topics in the world, the impact of social media—especially on the direct selling business model. Very few individuals and no organization, corporation or institution, can claim oblivion when asked about the impact of social media and the relationships triggered by this new use of technology.

People and businesses are connected more effectively, without geographic or time constraints, through multiple mediums designed to attract specific segments and address specific preferences. Virtually every major corporation—even local and national government leaders—can be found communicating about their brands and ideals, or simply answering questions and attempting to resolve issues to protect their brands. No other industry, in the opinion of many, is better positioned to benefit from the use of social media than the direct selling industry. That is why we used the title The Ultimate Social Business Model in June’s Direct Selling News/Wall Street Journal supplement. We hope you will gain from the information collected for the cover story by Brittany Glenn, who was assigned the task of writing about the thoughts shared. Gary Vaynerchuk, author and entrepreneur, also shares his insightful perspective in “A Personal Note from Gary V.”, included in the story. 

This month, our second supplement in a major media publication (USA Today) will be distributed in the weekend edition, Friday Sept. 23. The title of this supplement will be The Original Social Business Model. We think you will be proud of the way we are telling the stories about what direct selling/network marketing companies offer through products, services and opportunities, especially during times when joblessness seems to be the loudest conversation instead of the direct selling one, which speaks of hope, belief and the chance to grow personally and learn new skills … as well as the opportunity to create a better future.

The preceding goes to the heart of “why” Direct Selling News chose to go for telling your stories to the broadest audience possible through national vehicles of distribution. We could not have done this without those of you who chose to advertise with us in The Wall Street Journal supplement and now, USA Today. We appreciate your support very much, and we know we speak for the entire industry in expressing our gratitude. The result: The DSN/Wall Street Journal supplement exposed important information on direct selling, as a business model, to over 1.2 million subscribers. On Sept. 23, over 2 million purchasers of USA Today and approximately 3 million USA Today readers will be exposed to even more stories focused on the network marketing approach to direct selling.

There is such a need for positive communication during these challenging times. One might easily argue that the stories relative to the opportunities available through direct selling companies are needed more than ever. The topics and stories we offer in the USA Today supplement were carefully selected to ensure that we were telling a story that all of you and all of your sales organizations could identify with. Thanks to Shelby Skrhak, Managing Editor of the DSN/USA Today project, for the great job done in coordinating the editorial, and Carl Waters, Creative Director, for the incredible layout, which makes the stories even more interesting and appealing. We hope that you will notify your sales organizations about our industry presence in the Sept. 23 weekend edition, as USA Today is available at most newsstands, grocery stores and hotels throughout the nation. We will offer reprints on our website, as we expect every copy of USA Today to be purchased very early.

This issue also marks the first contribution of Scott Van Winkle, Managing Director of Equity Research at Canaccord Genuity, the global markets division of Canaccord Financial. We are delighted to have Scott share his perspectives as part of our Financial News section of the publication. Scott and Canaccord are also supplying the information contained in our monthly Stock Watch.

Personal interviews are a natural part of composing the stories we write each month in this publication. We have done many, and a lot are very memorable. For this month’s issue we enjoyed the opportunity to write about a company that was founded by an industry legend. Princess House has recently turned another corner in a reinvention of who they are as a company and what they offer now through a very different and expanded product line. Their current owner, Ray Chambers, is known throughout the world for so many efforts and accomplishments beyond his reputation as being an extraordinary businessman. It was certainly a pleasure to be able to interview Mr. Chambers personally and capture some of his thoughts relative to direct selling and the importance of the industry.

As we closed this issue, and reviewed the content, it was sobering to see the folder labeled September 2011. Personally, I had not thought about going into the ninth month of this year, leaving only one more quarter to go until 2012! However, as always—regardless of what might be going on in our country and the world—what you do, and what you provide through your companies, is about as refreshing as it gets. No one approaches the building of any business in direct selling by being critical or cynical … only by being positive, confident, hopeful and aspiring to make a difference in the lives of your people and the lives of those who benefit from what you offer. Thank goodness for the breath of fresh air you create! It’s much needed!

Until next month … enjoy the issue!

John Fleming
Publisher and Editor in Chief