Shel and I have just agreed a deal with Chicago-based Lawrence Ragan Communications who have become an FIR sponsor.
Under the sponsorship agreement, FIR podcasts will include audio spots produced by Ragan and a Ragan ad will appear on the For Immediate Release website. Ragan will promote FIR through its web and print channels.
From the pure business point of view, our deal with Ragan gives us much greater scope to broaden and deepen the listenership of our podcasts, especially the cornerstone show ‘The Hobson & Holtz Report,’ as we become exposed to Ragan’s global customer base.
And yes, we make a bit of money out of it. Not enough to retire on but enough for a couple of nice dinners now and again.
For Ragan, they gain exposure to the 1,600 subscribers and listeners around the world to each show, the majority of whom are significant influencers in their own rights.
Shel posted a more formal statement on the FIR site last night. I’ve written an FIR backgrounder (PDF) if you want to know a bit more about the podcasts. And we’ve issued a social media press release announcing the deal. There will also be a traditional press release which Ragan is releasing sometime today.
To both Shel and I, this sponsorship is more than just about business metrics. What really interests us is the opportunity this close relationship with Ragan provides us to extend and develop a greater FIR community.
We’ve said it before many times – FIR is all about community.
Since we began FIR in January 2005, we have made listeners a constituent element of each H&H Report. Our network of correspondents – Lee Hopkins in Australia; Dan York in Vermont, USA; David Phillips in the UK; and occasionally, Eric Schwartzman in Los Angeles and Sallie Goetsch in the SF Bay area – are constituent elements of what FIR is.
We see our sponsors as constituent elements of the community, too. Now Ragan joins our current sponsor CustomScoop whose CEO Chip Griffin personifies what sponsor-as-community-member really is all about with the Media Monitoring Minute segment in each show.
We also have a great relationship with TalentZoo.com, a recruitment company and job board, who have been offering FIR to their members for the past year or so.
Anyway, we are thrilled with this development of FIR! We hope our listeners are happy with it (let us know what you think) as we look forward to FIR’s continuing evolution.
[Update July 7] The press release finally went out today –