Ragan Communications sponsors FIR

RaganIf you listen to yesterday’s FIR #255, you’ll notice a new way in which we introduce the show.

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 –

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Alex Bellinger

    Neville, congrats to you and Shel. Really very richly deserved. You guys have put in so much work, provided so much insight and entertainment and inspired so many, I’m delighted all your hard work is paying off.

  2. Blubrry Blog » Blog Archive » Truly Profitable Podcasting

    […] There’s a lot of noise out there in the world of podcasting with respect to making some money from your podcast. Some folks hit  you with a hard sell on their podcast profit secrets. Here’s the biggest secret. There are no secrets! You shouldn’t have to pay a cent to find out how to turn your podcast into a financially profitable venture. Just look at podcasters who focus on content and community. Some of those types of podcasters are right here on Blubrry. Shel and Neville from For Immediate Release are a great example. They recently announced that they have signed up a second sponsor for their podcast. […]

  3. Krishna De

    Neville – congratulations. You must be thrilled with the development moving forward.

    There is truly alot we can learn from the way you have built a community around your podcast and created terrrific strategic alliances.

  4. FIR Podcast Got Long-Term Sponsorship From Ragan Communications | Podcast Fresh

    […] Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz of For Immediate Release Podcast bag a sponsorship agreement from Chicago-based Lawrence Ragan Communications. Under the said sponsorship deal, FIR podcast will include audio spots produced by Ragan. On the other hand, Ragan advertisements will likewise appear on the For Immediate Release website and will promote the podcast through its web and print channels. […]

  5. Chris Marritt

    Really late to this one, I’m afraid Neville. I’d seen the posts, but am still catching up with my FIRs and wanted to hear how it was being incorporated first.
    Obviously, my first point is congratulations! It’s just reward for what must be a mind-boggling amount of hard work over the years (and I’ve only been listening since mid-’05)
    The only point I would make, however, is on what I think is the over-commercial nature of the show now.
    Chip’s Media Monitoring Minutes are a huge, huge success because … well, because they don’t sound like adverts! Chip always ends with a plug, and he does so on every show, but it FEELS like a regular listener’s comment. It is not intrusive in any way, and is in the spirit of the show.
    I appreciate the size of investment may not be comparable, but if Ragan could find a way of having increased exposure without being the H&H Report brought to you by Ragan… that might work better.
    Maybe the nature of the sponsorship will evolve in time.
    That aside, I think it’s a great tie-up and kudos aplenty for securing it for the show. Well done.
    Keep up the good work, and I’ll keep listening (albeit a week or two late sometimes)

  6. neville

    That’s valuable feedback, Chris, thanks. Precisely the kind of thing we want to let Ragan know.

    And much appreciate your congrats, thanks.

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