Saturday, June 28, 2008
Here's a quote form this short article and a link to the whole thing.
"One of the changes in B2B selling is that, instead of decision makers making their own, often arbitrary decisions, purchase decisions today are made through a collaborative process involving multiple people and teams. This has always been a part of B2B sales, but now it's dominant. The 'decision making process' is now more important than 'the decision maker'."
Build A Sales Machine: Stop Obsessing Over "The Decision Maker"
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
One of the interesting things that cropped up as we began to develop our sports league business concerned the question of developing valid sports leads. Schools are easy. Either subscribe to a data service or purchase your statewide directory and - boom - you've got everything you need to get started.
Sports leagues have been a lot more challenging. We think that has a lot to do with how leagues are organized. By and large, they are associations staffed by volunteers that have no central mailing address or location to visit. They are very, very fluid in terms of who to contact, when to contact, & where to contact. This left us with a problem to solve and I thought it might be helpful for us to share how we solved the problem.
In a nutshell, we love Google.
What we've found is that the internet has become the central location for youth sports organizations. Most have their own web sites, which will often list coaches, boards of directors, schedules, etc. For example, one search on "youth soccer in arkansas" took us here, one click later we were here, and one click later we were here. Check out all the valuable data that is there for the taking. It takes a lot of effort and manual work, but the content of these sites can be entered into spreadsheets or e-mail applications like Outlook. Once the work is done, the marketing and sales efforts can begin. Now, of course we have to be mindful of SPAM laws and smart about what we do with the data, but there is a lot of it there to work with when the effort is expended to get it off of the internet and into a database.
Friday, June 6, 2008
As a photographer, you may not feel like it is necessary to register your images with the U.S. copyright office. However, there has been a few cases, where if the photographer had take the time to do so, they would have been much better protected.
I don’t think most photographers would ever sue a parent over copyright infringement. The publicity alone would be enough to put the photographer out of business. But, there have been some cases, where the media copied the image from a yearbook or received one from a parent and used it without the permission of the photographer.
The authority on Copyright issues is:
Al Hopper, CAE
Director of Membership, Copyright & Government Affairs
229 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 2200
Atlanta, GA 30303-1608 USA
phone: 800-339-5451 x232
He is from the Professional Photographers of America. They actively lobby congress for image copyright laws.
Images must be registered with the U.S. copyright office. You have up to 3 months after an image is taken to register it. For a flat fee of about $30.00 you can register your images in bulk with the copyright office. This means you can register all of your images 4 times a year (everything you’ve taken over a period of 3 months) and be protected. This doesn’t mean that someone won’t still steal your images, but you have done what you can to legally protect yourself.
Unless a work is registered before a copyright infringement takes place OR within ninety (90) days of first publication, damage awards may be limited to “actual damages”. This is often the fee a creator would have been paid for the work had it been licensed properly.
The problem comes from the fact that copyright law is a federal law and copyright claims must be prosecuted in Federal court. This can be very expensive. Just filing the claim and initial briefs can cost in excess of $10,000.00! In fact, a protracted copyright case can cost hundreds thousands of dollars in legal and court costs!
If your actual damages are only a few hundred dollars, say for an infringement of photograph in a ¼ page ad in a local newspaper, you need to be really motivated or independently wealthy to bring the case to court.
However, if your images are registered, you are eligible for actual damages as well as up to $200,000 in punitive damages per infringement. And, the courts may (and frequently do) force the infringer to pay all legal and court costs. The fear of the legal bill is often the leverage that motivates an infringer to settle a claim long before it moves to court. Registration clearly is the “big stick” for independent creators.
Here is a simple procedure to register all of your work. Keep in mind that you need to register every three months for full protection. Images must be registered before an infringement takes place OR within 90 days of first publication. Registering your current work every three months will keep you within that legal time frame.
You will bulk register all of your images as unpublished images using short form VA. http://www.copyright.gov/forms/formvas.pdf.
1.Setup a folder on your desktop and label it “Copyright”
2.On each assignment you photograph, simply make a low-resolution j-peg copy of each image and drop it in the file.
3.At the end of the second month, write the folder to CD-ROM
4.Fill out Short Form VA completely
5.Write a check to the Register of Copyright for $30.00
6.Send the submission, in a box, to: Library of Congress, Copyright Office, 101 Independence SE, Washington, DC 20559
Monday, June 2, 2008
First, there's a spell checker gone crazy.
When one reads the final comment (reported by the AP) of the Taylor representative, Ed Patrick you have to just get a little sick for our industry. Here's what he said:
"It happens all the time, every year," Patrick said. "Look at any yearbook in the country."
Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the school photography or publishing industries.
Then, as if that isn't enough, a Taylor Publishing representative was recently convicted of a fraudulent scheme where he bilked schools out of over $700,000 over the course of 4 years.
Wow. All that fun in less than a week. Who wants to bet if there might be a vacancy or two in the Taylor public relations department?