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Home / Issue Archive / 2006 / June #6 / Editor's Letter

№ 6 (June 2006)

Editor's Letter

Heard of ISO 2001? Now Meet BPA Worldwide

Pat Davis Szymczak

I'm sure that most of our readers know well how important it is to say that their company has achieved an ISO 2001 or API certification. For the most part, prestigious global companies simply refuse to trade with any firm that does not meet one or both of these international standards in oil and gas equipment manufacturing and services. Thus to get ISO 2001 or API certification is an accomplishment which you might say "separates the men from the boys."

This is true also of publishing. And so it is with great pride and pleasure that I take the occasion of the Neftegaz 2006 international exhibition to announce that Oil&Gas Eurasia has achieved acceptance as a member in BPA Worldwide. You oil and gas guys and gals can think of this as the ISO 2001 or API of international publishing.

BPA Worldwide is an independent, not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors drawn from global advertising agencies and media owners which set internationally recognized standards for the auditing of media circulation claims worldwide. Its membership (which now includes Oil&Gas Eurasia in Russia) includes 2,600 advertisers and agencies and 3,000 publications worldwide in 20 countries.

Oil&Gas Eurasia - The One You Can Trust

To become a member of BPA Worldwide, a publication is required to submit its circulation claims and supporting documentation to an intensive independent audit by media circulation professionals on a yearly basis. So far only one publication in Russia has managed to achieve this - Oil&Gas Eurasia. And this means that what we say about the size of our readership and its demographics is true. When it comes to energy publishing in Russia, "Oil&Gas Eurasia  is the One You Can Trust."

For Western ad agencies, this is all "old hat." The question is simply, "do you have a BPA statement or not?" For Russia, however, the idea of media auditing is completely new and it would do the Russian publishing industry good to start thinking about what honest, transparent reporting of circulation data, audited by independent internationally recognized third parties really means.

For the advertiser, dealing with a BPA audited publication means getting value for money. If you pay for an ad in Oil&Gas Eurasia in hopes of reaching 10,000 readers in the oil and gas industry, you can be sure you are getting what you've paid for.

For the advertising agency it means being accountable to their client. They've spent their clients money in the right place and they won't be blamed later for a failed advertising campaign. The agency can be sure of delivering results and the client will stay with that agency.
For the publication (media owner) there is satisfaction that comes from having done a professional job and the promise of revenue growth over the long term because professionalism is always rewarded.

It's True - You Get What You Pay For

How many of you reading this editorial while tending your stands at Neftegaz 2006 think you got the greatest deal because a publication claiming to distribute 10,000 or 15,000 or even 20,000 copies sold you their back cover for $1,000? I'll bet that the salesman told you that everyone from President Putin to the cleaning ladies at the Russian White House read it with their morning coffee.

If you're in business you certainly know that you "get what you pay for;" and folks, publishing is a business. If a magazine can sell you its back cover for $1,000 and an inside page for $500, it means that they aren't printing more than a 1,000 or so and it is all being given away at the exhibition (of which maybe 200 will fall into the hands of someone who might buy your product.) It also means that the owner of the publication is probably feeding his family off a business other than publishing; so should he care about offering you value? It costs money to print a quality publication and it costs money to distribute, especially in Russia where often distribution networks in remote areas like Siberia need to be literally created from scratch.

What you need to ask that sales rep is how much money it costs you to put your advertisement in front of one pair of eyes that belong to a person who might actually buy your product. (The industry jargon is "cost per 1,000"). That $1,000 back cover bargain you think you have, might be actually costing you $5 per prospective client (assuming a distribution of 1,000 of which maybe 200 are interested in your product.). A $6,000 back cover to a verifiable audience of 10,000 that reaches the right demographics costs you 60-cents to reach each perspective client. So who just made a fool of who?

Truly Investing in the Russian Market

I've spoken often in this column about my belief in the Russian market. As an individual I've been involved in oil and gas publishing for 12 years in Russia, half of that developing my own publication. We at Oil&Gas Eurasia have grown up with the post - Soviet energy industry and stayed through its ups and downs. Some Western-based competitors we face at this year's Neftegaz just discovered Russia and think they can make a fast buck to take out of the country. Local competitors pop up today for any number of business reasons that sometimes have little to do with publishing, and within a year or two they're gone.

Oil&Gas Eurasia has invested in Russia for the long term and our pledge is to serve honestly and transparently the business to business marketing needs of the oil and gas operators, service and supply companies that, as advertisers, support us. Our BPA announcement at this year's Neftegaz is just another milestone along the way to our making good on this pledge. I wish everyone a profitable time at Neftegaz 2006!

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