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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Day That No One Died (2)

Read part one here.

* * *

In the world of big media, it is usually the advertisers who come to the networks and media professionals, trying to sell their services. Some of the slickest sellers in sales -- often better even than the much renowned used car salesmen -- Advertising Representatives typically bend over backward to do everything they can to land the big account, catering to the every whim of the media execs they hope to ensnare. Such is not the case when said media exec is merely a new media entrepreneur with a portfolio of web sites his looking to monetize. The advertising industry has been quite reluctant to embrace new media. And this lack of serious consideration for those involved in new media is why Daryl Campa -- blogger, podcaster, and new media entrepreneur -- found himself headed into the city to speak to a Public Relations Representative about advertising options for his family of sites. This Public Relations Representative would then present what he (or she, Daryl wasn't sure yet with whom he would be speaking) found useful to an Advertising and Marketing company that seemed to stay quite detached from the whole process. It was Daryl's best chance yet to turn the traffic on his sites into an income of sorts.

Daryl drove into the city, sipping cautiously at his coffee as he navigated the busy morning streets. His meeting was scheduled for ten o'clock, but Daryl had the annoying habit of arriving every place he went at least thirty minutes earlier, and even more so if there was business to be done. It was therefore no surprise to Daryl when he found himself with an hour to kill upon arriving for his morning appointment. Shifting focus just a bit, Daryl tuned the radio to News Talk 510, picked up his coffee, and sank back into his seat.

* * *

"So what you're telling me is that, you can't really tell me how many listeners your show has."

"Not exactly," Daryl explained again. "Just as television has the Nielsen ratings to tell us how many viewers are watching a specific show at a specific time, podcasting has Podtrac. It tells me how many listeners download my show through their servers."

"So then you can tell me how many listeners you have."

"Not exactly," Daryl continued, frustrated. He had dealt with people like this before -- people who feel that they are all-knowing, all-seeing and, certainly, all-powerful. People who sit on their holier-than-thou clouds talking down to you because you need them more than they'll ever need you. "I can tell you how many listeners download through the Podtrac servers, but there are listeners who hear the show streamed through the site. Probably as many, if not more, than there are that download."

"And you can track this listenership how?"

"Feedback?" Daryl tried.

"Feedback?" the stuffed shirt repeated.

"You know, feedback from my listeners."

"From your listeners."

Daryl took another sip of his coffee, using the moment to calm himself and regroup before he said something to this person that he might later regret. He continued, "Podcasting is an evolving form of new media. There is yet to be an accurate way to track the size of a shows listening audience."

"And that, Mr. Campa, is exactly where my client will have a problem with getting involved in your show."

"Let me ask you something, Mr. Boyer," Daryl paused for the obligatory, Call me Lonny that never came. He continued, "How long have you been in this business?"

"I don't see how that--"

"Indulge me, please."

"Three, maybe four."

"Years?" Daryl asked for clarification.

"Months," the stuffed shirt replied.

"And how, exactly, does your client measure the success of your services to them?"

"Through return on investment." When Daryl failed to respond, Mr. Boyer continued, "When a client sees an increase in product sales that coincides with the timing of an ad campaign, it is clearly a result of the advertising."


"Thank you," the stuffed shirt said uncertainly. "But for what."

"Because you just explained exactly how your client will be able to tell if advertising in new media will work for them."

"Excuse me?"

"Run just one ad, Mr. Boyer. One ad, give it three episodes. Watch your sales. If you see no increase that coincides with the ad campaign on my show, you pay nothing. If you see any increase whatsoever, you pay the asking rate." Pausing for a moment, Daryl took another sip of his coffee, allowing his comments time to sink in. "But, just to make things interesting, if you see, say, double-digit increases in sales that coincide with the timing of your ad on my show, you pay twice the asking rate."

"Now you're pushing it, Mr. Campa."

"A man's gotta try, right?"

"Hardly," the stuffed shirt answered. "But I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll take your proposal back to my client. All but the last part, that is. I'll even go so far as to recommend that they accept the limited terms of you offer. I think we might be able to give this is a shot."

"That's all I ask."

"I'll be in touch," Mr. Boyer said, rising from his chair and extending his hand to Daryl.

"I'll be waiting with baited breath," Daryl said, returning the gesture.

Daryl drained the last drop of coffee from his mug as the stuffed shirt, snot-nosed, still too new at his job to know any better Mr. Lonny Boyer strutted from the cafe.

"This just might turn out to be a good day after all," Darryl said, setting his empty cup on the table.

"Beg your pardon?"

"I said," Daryl began, noticing that the waitress had returned to his table with a pot of coffee. "Just thinking out loud," he continued.

"Top if off for you?"

"No thanks," Daryl said, glancing at the empty porcelain cup. "I think I've had enough." Picking up the cup and gesturing into the bottom of it, he continued, "And he probably has, too."

"Oh, sir, I am so sorry," the waitress shrieked. "I have no idea how a cricket could have gotten into your coffee."
To be continued ...

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