Podcast Sponsorships Part 2

Seems yesterday’s post opened up some discussion over at Robert Scoble’s blog (tx Robert!) so I am gong to continue my ideas on how to make sponsorships more effective for all concerned.

Here’s the link to Scobleizer.

# Business collaborations work best IMO when there are open negotiations and each party is clear what they want to get out of it.
# Nobody can know everything these days so it’s good to have as many smart people on your team as you can afford.
# Sponsorships can and should create a value add for all concerned.

Business collaborations work best…
It’s each party’s responsibility to both understand what it is s/he brings to the table as well as what it is s/he wants to take away. With that information, the negotiation of a deal can be productive.

A producer may not have an eye for business so…

Nobody can know everything…
Content producers can’t possibly understand a sponsor’s business as well as the sponsor. (On this Mr. Coulter, you and I could agree.) However the sponsor also does not have access to the same information that a producer does, whether it is the implementation of the new media technology or the nuances of a producer’s audience.

It’s the producer’s responsibility to keep the audience in mind, and to select potential sponsors who will enhance the show’s experience, not be some unrelated bunch of high-paying noise tossed in because the sponsor feels desperate to get his/her product in front of said audience. (Yes, this is why it is an uphill battle for Edelman to help Walmart (link has expired) get cool.) A smart sponsor will understand this.

A producer may not have an eye for business so I think it makes sense to hire people like us who can translate the goals and expertise of the various parties into a useful strategy.

Sponsorships can and should create…
Otherwise, why bother? It is a short-lived, possibly expensive whimsy. I believe in sustainable business relationships (and sustainable environment practices.) It’s business 101 that it’s easier to keep selling a current customer than to try to go out and acquire new customers.

A sponsor may not understand the psychology of the internet, so I think it makes sense to hire people like us who can translate the goals and expertise of the various parties into a useful strategy.

Let’s Continue the Amanda Across America Case Study (link has expired)

Here are few more things I would do differently:

From the Producer’s Point of View:
* Being a competitive person, and having screened each of the sponsors for being compatible with my project, I would want to see how much value I could deliver them so they’ll have no doubts about supporting my next project.
* In the case of Ford: I would plan to stop at every dealer along the way, and see how many Hybrids we could sell. I would use my role as media personality to attract my audience into the store, to have that great personal connection, and to have an open (yes probably and hopefully controversial) discussion about hybrid vehicles. Are they too little too late? Maybe. Want to test drive one? Sure. Are they better than your 5-year old stinkpot? You bet. But that’s why I video blog – to have stimulating conversations with interesting people about new ideas without being afraid of commercial transactions supporting the process.
* I would be delighted to challenge my audience to see what kind of difference we can make on this cross country trip. Add pages to the wiki to tally how many people turned off lights when they left the room (or switched to fluorescent), how many miles were walked or peddled instead of driven? The possibilities are endless. This is truly walking my talk, and getting my audience to do the same.

From the Sponsor’s Point of View:
* This is going to require more work on my (Ford’s) part to get the dealer network involved and coordinate the logistics. But I’d be thrilled to have Amanda in our stores surrounded by her fans – a perfect demographic for the cars we are selling.
* This also helps me support/pressure the dealer to take advantage of a great opportunity. “This price today only. It returns to normal by 25% a day so if you don’t act within 4 days, you lose the benefit. And the first person who buys today goes to dinner with Amanda, we pick up the tab. We have sales people eager to answer your questions and let you take a test drive.” [And dealers, you better be able to back this one up or it will backfire!]

From the Audience Point of View:
* Hey, I’m getting great stories for free. Yes, I hate advertising, but I love Amanda and also like learning about things other people think are cool. And I trust my friends and the video blogs I watch much more than MSM. (Main stream media)
* I’ve got ideas for the show; let me submit them.
* I’d like to meet Amanda. Where is she gonna be?
* Ok, I have been reading about Hybrids. I don’t think they’re the solution. I want to give Ford a piece of my mind, but I bet they won’t dare to show up. They probably just tossed some money to try and look cool, without really caring about me. In my mind, this just proves they are clueless and don’t really care.
* I would listen to Amanda about this issue because I trust her and because this whole trip is to promote environmental awareness.

So, if you are a producer and want to know how to make sense to a sponsor, contact us. If you are a sponsor who wants real ROI from your money, contact us. We see things differently and we love adding our plays to your game.

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AUTHOR: Christopher Penn, Financial Aid Podcast
URL: https://www.financialaidpodcast.com
DATE: 10/25/2006 07:21:05 AM
The thing is, if advertising is done RIGHT – meaning it’s educational and entertaining, your audience won’t hate it. Quite the contrary – they may love it. Even though they’re 30 second spots, the PC/Mac ads from Apple are so entertaining, people share them without compensation.

The same is true of podcasts and blogs – if the sponsor is truly a good fit for the show, then not only will the sponsor integrate into the content, but the audience may even welcome them.

Christopher S. Penn, The Financial Aid Podcast
A Publication of the Student Loan Network
On-demand financial aid internet radio, no iPod required