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on publicity & marketing

17 02 2010

I admit that I am known within the running community in the country through this blog and from the newly-published Front Runner Magazine and I did not spend much except for my yearly URL fee for WordPress. My advocacies are well-known to everybody and many runners as well as ordinary citizens have benefited from them. Despite these undertakings, the Bald Runner had never been featured in any broadsheets’ lifestyle & sports sections. Even if I know personally some writers, they don’t dare to write about me without them asking permission from me. In short, I don’t need publicity and shy away from  public relations outfits as they ask some exhorbitant fees for them to give you a good image and “market” you as a good product. I would like to state it once again, that I am not running for an elective office/position or I am not trying to transform myself into a politician. I just love to run and inspire others to adhere to a healthy and active lifestyle.

Many runners had been asking me why the Bald Runner is not featured in the TBR Magazine; Men’s Health; or Multi-Sport Magazines and even the annual takbo.ph publication last year after they have published and featured their “stars” in the running community. These runners should ask the publishers of these magazines why they are not featuring me. I am glad my friend & ultra runner, Jonel, published the first running magazine in the country, The Front Runner Magazine!

As I said, this blog is already a good platform for people to know what the Bald Runner is doing to promote running and at the same time sustain its advocacies. I have also projects being the President of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) in promoting the sports of ultramarathon in the country. And the most significant project of this Association is the conduct of the yearly Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race, simply called “BDM 102”.

In my personal point of view, ultramarathon is still an “underground” running sports event in the country. It is better known by “word of mouth” from one runner to another. The lesser the number of runners, the better as most average runners would not dare to challenge themselves to go beyond their endurance limits. In short, ultramarathons are for those who are “crazy, have the “balls” & hardcore” in running.

So, if a media or PR outfit would ask me to be an Official Media/PR partner for the BDM 102, I would say “NO”, most especially if the media outfit would ask me material things in return for their services of advertising and covering the event. I believe that these media outfits should be the one who should be giving material things, like support funds/sponsorship funds/banners, for the event and support for the advocacy of the running event.

The Marketing Staff of RunnerSpeak  approached me on the early part of January 2010 and made a schedule to meet me for two occassions but their staff would not make it and had these meetings re-scheduled until the meeting was put on hold. Instead, the Marketing Staff of RunnerSpeak sent me an e-mail on their proposal/offer to cover the BDM 102. Below is an excerpt of a proposal from RunnerSpeak of Q TV to advertise, promote & cover 2010 BDM 102. 

RunnerSpeak will assure that BDM 102KM will receive the following mileage:

  • A full exposure and coverage for BDM 102KM
  • Placement of event announcement and updates on the show
  • Interview of representatives and organizers
  • Extra media values:
    • Inclusion of updates and links in our sites eg: Facebook, Website 
    • Bumper and CBB

In exchange for this, RunnerSpeak is requesting the following:

  • Inclusion of the show’s LOGO as Official TV Partner
  • Install banners on race day (max. of 3 banners)
  • Singlets/ Shirts for the team (at least 10pcs)
  • Complimentary registration of at least 2 participants for the race
  • RunnerSpeak to be acknowledged as the Television Partner

Okey, they are requesting me for such & such but definitely, my answer is “NO”. I am not a marketing-trained “son of a gun” but just for curiosity sake, I just want to know if this is the “protocol” in advertising/marketing. I have the impression that whatever this media outfit would cover in the BDM 102 event and have it shown in Q TV, they will be paid for every second & minute in their TV program. Am I right or wrong?

Or it would be better if the media outfit would pay the Race Organizer (Director & Producer) and the runners (Actors & Actresses) as we are their “talents”?

To all the BDM 102 runners, good luck!

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10 responses

17 02 2010
greencursor

jovie, my take on this is that runner speak should be the one to give you perks as they will benefit from featuring your race in their program. this is proprietary material. this is not unlike scoop news in showbiz programs where the interviewees are paid in exchange for their participation. the least they could do is just to feature your race in their program period. nothing more should be asked to return the favor. if runner speak is truly for the runners then they should not bother the race organizers with any conditions. the sad thing is: in marketing, there’s no such thing as a “free lunch.” i scratch your back and you scratch mine.

17 02 2010
jonnifer

“In my personal point of view, ultramarathon is still an “underground” running sports event in the country.”

I hope it stays that way…always.

18 02 2010
miraclecello

Your BDM has achieved cult status even without, and probably due to the absence of, traditional media exposure. Tellies should pay the organisers for exclusive coverage, like, say, the Olympics or the World Cup or the Ironman. They are trying to get you to provide them prime time content on the cheap ha ha.

18 02 2010
miraclecello

And if they want to put up banners, they should pay you for the real estate, just like when you run advertising on television for football matches. If they want to use their logo, they can pay you for the naming rights too, like the bank for Barclays Premier League, the Emirates airline for Arsenal’s home stadium, and the defunct AIG for Man United shirts.

18 02 2010
marathonfoodie

Hello Sir Jovie,

I work for a TV network. The proposal from RunnerSpeak is common/ usual. This is called an exchange deal — meaning no cash involved. They cover your event and give it media mileage on national TV, in return your event becomes part of their program content.

I think this is good for BDM sir. It will give your sponsors extra mileage at no extra cost to you. Also, this media exposure will help you reach out to potential corporate sponsors who may be watching the show. This can be a very good thing for future editions of BDM.

Basta the TV crew should spend for heir own logistics and not you. More importantly, there should be no exchange of cash.

The only parts of their proposal that may not be feasible are the ff:

1. Singlets. Simply because there’s none. The finisher’s T-shirt is sacred and must only be given to those who will finish. To remedy this, maybe you can give them he Team Bald Runner shirt or an event shirt. Those wo will wear it will become instant walking advertisements for your group even long after the race is over.

2. Complementary race reg. Are they kidding? They obviously have no idea how this race is run. Maybe this can be explained to them in a more diplomatic way.

I think Runnerspeak is a blocktimer over at QTV. This means they bought airtime from he network so they could air their show. They earn through advertising placements. Konti lang advertisers nila.

My unsolicited advice is, be open to negotiate this exchange deal. In the end it will be good for future editions of BDM and for ultrarunning in the Philippines as a whole.

More power to you Sir!

I’m a great admirer of your pioneering efforts.

18 02 2010
jinoe

Hi BR. My apologies for not including you in last years yearbook. We were not able to find the right place for the material you sent me. It was to highlight the events from last year and the Team BR material you sent was quite off for last years yearbook. I hope I can make it up in our other projects. 😀

But I hope you do know that your projects and events are always welcome to be announced and promoted at the site.

Definitely bloggers are given a small portion of the pie. Or none of it. I hated it when I posted a SALE ad for a shoe brand at the site and found out that they posted the same SALE ad in a newspaper. Print Ads costs thousands and the bloggers got none.

When will we learn?

18 02 2010
rayabe

Hello BR!

With the success of BDM 102 last year, I’m sure the sports writers/reporters of daily newspapers, broadcast networks will cover the BDM 102 2010 edition. These reports do not have any costs or anything in exchange for their publication/airing.

See you on the road!

Ray

18 02 2010
runnerforchrist

We should not run for publicity and popularity. We are not actors whose words are scripted, instead we let our feet do the talking. We may not be an elite runners but we have this passion and love for this sports. People will know if you’re authentic or not. Even if you’re alone in your advocacy and no one is supporting you, just move on and don’t expect too much. I maybe wrong, but the running community is divided. Some choose Peter, others select John, but the question is…Are you for real? Or are you only for profit?
Thank you because you’re for real. And I hope all runners will follow your footsteps. 🙂

19 02 2010
schlagger

Sir Jovie,

Somehow I agree with marathonfoodie that it would be nice to have exploratory talks with runnerspeak (or any media outlet for that matter) for the coverage of the bdm… for the simple reason that it would provide good exposure for both the event and the ultramarathon sport in general. This, I believe, is good in educating or informing the public about the sport and more importantly, clearing misconceptions (like joining such distance races on a whim/because it’s a fad is ok even without proper training).

As an added bonus, you can request the media outlet for copies of the show (and maybe extra footages) and this would serve as good documentation for future bdm events. (and some participant may want to have a copy for souvenir) 🙂

And yes, I also agree that some of the things runnerspeak are demanding may be a bit overboard for now… like the shirts and complimentary registration. but this can be sorted out as talks progress.

As a side note… I know that ultrarunners may probably want to keep the sport as an “underground” event for a variety of reasons – not to attract those new runners who are just going along with the running fad nowadays, to keep the ultramarathon community small and intimate, keeping that “elite” status, etc. But I believe that eventually, those who are just joining for the fad ride will leave or fade (just like the thousands who used to play badminton)… and only the real runners “crazy” enough to take the distance challenge will be left standing… err, running. 🙂

20 02 2010
bulldogrunner

good day sir! i agree with marathon foodie and schlagger, i think it wouldn’t hurt so much to negotiate with the media for ex-deals if it’s going to be for the betterment and popularity of the sport you say truly love.

in line with this post, i’ve also read several entries in your blog wherein you seem to always question other people for their achievements because it’s not done the way you wanted it to be or for not inviting you to their events. you almost always lambast politicians for turning down your solicitations and companies for turning down sponsorship requests which surely leaves a bad taste in the mouth! it somehow sounds so “narcistic”, and do i sense some bitterness or is it just plain nd simple crab mentality sir? with this type attittude, you’re not being “consumer friendly” as they all say, and the way i see it, it’s not helping the sport.

furthermore, with the kind of treatment and response these people are getting from you, i’m pretty much sure that this is what really keeps them from wanting to be associated with you or your events which is not good if you really want to promote your advocacies. just my two cents sir br sir…

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