On the way to San Antonio

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"SA hotel view" by Zereshk - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SA_hotel_view.jpg#mediaviewer/File:SA_hotel_view.jpg
"SA hotel view" by Zereshk - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SA_hotel_view.jpg#mediaviewer/File:SA_hotel_view.jpg
“SA hotel view” by Zereshk – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

I’m writing this post at O’Hare Airport in Chicago as I wait for the connecting flight to San Antonio, TX, for the annual Build Business SMPS national convention.

This national conference brings together marketing minds from across the U.S. (with a few Canadians). One key task during the event will be one of the judges for the marketing communications award finalists. There’ll also be the opportunity to attend a diversity of informative seminars and reconnect with several people I’ve become friends with over the years.

However, there’ll be a couple of additional personal agenda items, including my visit with Buddy Doebbler, who publishes several regional Texas construction newspapers from his San Antonio home.

Doebbler started his business in San Antonio with San Antonio Construction News some years ago — probably about when I started publishing Ottawa Construction News. His publishing style and model has some similarities, but some real differences, but I suppose we both share a rather important quality in common — we’ve survived several decades in the business, in an environment with evolving competition, plenty of economic down-cycles, and new technologies.

The other task is to meet my deadline for an article about association marketing for the SMPS Marketer. (I can play on ironies, but find it intriguing to be writing an article about association marketing in a hotel room while attending an association convention — for an association publication.)

All of this stuff must happen, as well, while we close the editorial and production for several of our Canadian publications.

San Antonio is close to my heart, because I last visited the city in 1995, two years after marrying Vivian, as we prepared to attend a seminar in Hunt, TX by the late Walt Hailey on “Breaking the No Barrier.”

Hailey’s insights, about the dynamics of supply chain relationships, helped shape my business. While the supplier-relationship model has been used and abused by many other publishers (notably not by Doebbler), if you apply the leverage of existing business client/supplier relationships effectively, it is still one of the most effective business development levers available to anyone, whether it be publishing or architecture, engineering or construction.

 

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