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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Doswell's "open letter" and Storms of 2007 review

Regarding Doswell's "open letter" posted on Stormtrack... Yaaaaaaawn. Next.

My copy of The Storms of 2007 arrived last night and despite a few editing snafus, it's pretty good. It's too bad the Greensburg EF5 was a night tornado as the video quality is really poor for the most part but Darin Brunin still did a good job tying it all together. The Elie, MB EF5 is INSANE. Next time someone argues a tornado has to be big to be powerful, show them this video of a 30 some odd yard wide drill bit ripping the down apart. It's crazy. Overall it is a good production and hats off to all the chapter producers and contributors. Good stuff.

On the flip side, this project needs some stronger (or at least stable) leadership. I think Mick Ptak bit off a mighty big piece of steak to chew when he stepped in as the lead producer at the last minute. He was already busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest with his work/family stuff without taking this on. I'll probably get kicked in the nuts for this next statement by Greg Stumpf and Jim LaDue (but according to Doswell's letter, this is what we have first amendment rights for LOL). The puppet strings need to get cut on this project for the future success. If the founders of this project want it done a certain way then BE THE PRODUCERS. The communication (despite there being a private board for the producers) was fair at best. One chapter producer wasn't even aware of the board until the project was almost at the submission deadline. Wow. The marketing is horrible. They got an official press release out with the website looking like crap. This thing is ordered on line and when you go to the site, there wasn't even any of the artwork or a preview clip available. Dick McGowan had a fabulous marketing strategy in my opinion and was shot down by apparently a closed door decision. I really believe Dick's idea could have produced almost $10K in additional gross funds being raised. This all being said and after the whole project came within an eyelash of being scrubbed, it's done. I was worried about the final cut looking "rushed" but it got by. I hope the political pissing matches are done well in advance of next year's production...assuming there will be one.


Do you trust to make purchases off the internet or a catalog without seeing what your money is going for???


DM said...

Ha, thanks Bill. Been meaning to say that, just been busy. Just had some ideas, and still have an advertisement with their name on it for a magazine, but if they don't want to do it, I'll just put up my own website and let Reed have half of it.

Marketing is nill, it's not Mickey's fault. I mean I could have spent time on that stuff, but they weren't even telling me yes or no, come on! Step aside if you can't make firm decisions on major deals. That's why your name is tattooed everywhere on it, while giving little credit to the people who actually did it. Isn't that the way things always work though.

Shane Adams said...

You stated a lot of things you felt were wrong but offered no solutions. I'm confused, are you saying Mickey did a bad job or is there some other message I'm not getting? Maybe you could produce the next one, if you're not too busy following the Twister Sisters around on their next television conquest. Fact is, Mickey saved the Storms Of series by taking this on. Nobody else would do it.

mnwxchaser said...

Yep, that is correct Shane. The issues were not Mickey's fault. He is your friend. I get that. When Verne had the quick exodus no one really wanted to step and fill the void and the pool of qualified people people to manage the project (and that is really what it comes down to) was very thin. From the other chasers who were kicking the idea around of throwing their name in the ring, most were intimidated of Jim and Greg. If Mickey did not step in, I doubt the project would have gotten done this year. I was ready to return all the video contributions at one point as there was no sign of forward progress.

3 ideas/solutions for the future. This is business org 101.

1) Separate production and management. The lead producer needs to function as a project manager and delegate. No involvement in the production. NONE!!

2) Set deadlines/objectives without "winging it" as the project unfolds. The deadline aspect was not a big issue this year considering the rocky start but a defined goal must be established by the lead producer.

3) Develop a marketing strategy and keep this separate from production. Just as there are chapter producers dedicated to each event, the need for a specialized individual or a very small team to do nothing but work on getting the word out. This part of the project would be very challenging as it would require the most legwork. Someone with established media contacts to lead this area would be a must.

Other miscellaneous ideas:

The need to bring the production mainstream must be done. I am not a marketing genius by any means but common sense says the 1100 some odd members of Storm Track cannot be the core target demographic segment.

All promotional material needs to be in place before releasing the product. After all, promotion drives sales. Attempts were done to get more exposure but it sputtered along.

No crossing of lines of responsibility. If Jim and Greg want their brainchild done a certain way, why doesn't one head production and the other marketing? Just leave it at that.

This project will never be perfect as the "staff" will be different every year. HOWEVER if there is consistency in the organizational set up (and the top three spots) the SOXXXX project will become a refined production with time. No different than setting up a small business in a lot of ways.

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