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Panpa Bulletin : July 2006
30 | PANPA BULLETIN July 2006 PANPA AD FORUM About 30 years ago, in my first career, I was an explo- ration geologist in South Africa. I was assigned to a base- metals exploration unit -- that is copper, lead, zinc etc. Today these commodity prices are exploding, but back in the 70s it was a differ- ent story. The mining company I worked for held exploration rights on a property in the north-west of the country, not far from Messina. The company camped on a farm called Venetia -- we used the farm as a regional headquarters and frequently stayed there, to-ing and fro-ing between other camp locations. What was interesting was the profusion of a dark coloured green /red rock, obviously igne- ous (volcanic) in origin, that was scattered about the area. It was so interesting we used nice lumps as paper weights, but paid no more attention to it than: "oh this is in- teresting", as we went about our work. The scene moves on three years or so, and after my company had left that location, Anglo American (specialising in diamonds) moved in to take their turn in the merry go round of exploration. They had a different perspective on that rock and recognised it immedi- ately for what it was -- kimberlite. For those of you in the know kim- berlite is the host rock for . . . dia- monds. To cut a long story short, Venetia today is Southern Africa's largest diamond mine -- it produc- es about 50 per cent of South Af- rica's total production. It is a very big hole in the ground. And we missed it! I always wanted to be known as a geologist that found a mine, not tripped over one and missed it, but hey, well that's life. Let's get back to the point of this discussion. How could a group of experienced, knowledgeable scientists miss something so ob- vious? Well, this happens all the time in life -- if you are not looking for something, then you run a big risk of not seeing it. Our focus was on something entirely different -- a total different 'radar' set was tuned in. We missed it, because we weren't looking for it. We were looking for something else. You won't find diamonds if you are not looking for them. So how does this concept relate to selling in 2006 in the newsprint advertising industry? I believe it applies totally. I have seen managers and sales people miss the obvious right under their noses because they are either not looking, or their attention (focus) is elsewhere. It happens all the time. We know that this industry is going through massive changes. You all are familiar with what's evolving. I quote from May's Busi- ness Review Weekly: "The clock is ticking. Newspa- pers around the world are facing crisis. Advertisers are pumping more of their marketing dollars into internet sites, and papers are losing ground to real-time online news providers. As the media in- dustry fragments, circulation and readership numbers decline and so called rivers of gold -- classi- fied advertising -- are diverted to internet channels, fears are grow- ing that the economics of print media companies are unsustain- able". The fact that PANPA's April Ad Forum agenda focused on new and different ways to find adver- tising dollars is testament to the pressure you are all under. I know that the industry has got to change to meet the competitive pressures evolving, but I wonder how many'fields of diamonds' are out there in your own territories. How many'fields ofdiamonds' are you personally sitting on today, but you're just not seeing them? Virtually every sales team has star performers, or core perform- ers and those at the other end of the spectrum who maybe should be looking for other careers. It's clear that the poor perform- ers drag down your results. Here's Diamonds in the The largest diamond in the rough. Wendy Wood from MAGNT with Australia’s largest diamond ever mined from the Merlin Mine. neWSPIx looking for the sparkler in advertising is just a matter of opening your eyes writes Paul Archer