59630_PETER - please read

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Al-Akhbar Management

Date 2010-06-06 02:25:12
From [email protected]
To [email protected]
Others InReplyTo: [email protected]
Text
But it's not his call!!
All the passion and creativity that was going into this has been effectively snuffed out by the tyrant. I understand if you're done with the idea, but this is not peters domain and he doesn't know crap about marketing. I'm going to inform Grant and George of Peter's "opinion" and see what they have to say.

Sent from my iPhone
On Jun 5, 2010, at 6:52 PM, Marko Papic wrote:

Ok it is dead. Youre the boss and you feel strongly about it.

On Jun 5, 2010, at 5:43 PM, Peter Zeihan wrote:

look - i apologize if i came across as snippy

i've actually had a reeeeally good couple of days and i only tell you that because i think this is a reeeeally bad idea in its current form with a lot of downsides that you've not thought through

you two are eager and creative. if anyone can make this work its you two. but dear god this scares the bejezzus out of me and i will do everything i can to kill it until it doesn't

Reva Bhalla wrote:

No one was trying to go over your head. We came up with the idea on Friday and you were not available. This is a marketing campaign, so naturally we pitched it to Grant first. I see no wrong in that. Rather than dismissing you in 2-line emails, Marko and I have been trying to address your concerns by explaining to you how this is a marketing campaign designed to feed into a global frenzy, highlight our methodology and drive readers to the site through well thought out world cup analogies. As I said, Marko and I are drafting up an intro email to explain the geopolitical thrust behind this campaign to George, Grant and yourself. We are putting effort into this precisely to address your concerns and because this is an idea we really believe in. I do not appreciate you cursing at us and dismissing us outright when we are trying to explain the marketing logic behind this.

Sent from my iPhone
On Jun 5, 2010, at 3:19 PM, Peter Zeihan
wrote:

ok ms snark

you didn't run this by me before going over my head or testing it out on others -- not smart

you haven't responded a whit to my basic concerns, choosing instead to ply me with arguments that can all be summed as up as rubbing it in my face that you hadn't run it by me -- also not smart

if you want to seriously pitch this, you need to address my concern first -- not last

until you do that, this is dead

Reva Bhalla wrote:

Thank you for responding to us in a professional manner on a marketing idea that has the support of the CEO and the marketing director.

Sent from my iPhone
On Jun 5, 2010, at 2:45 PM, Peter Zeihan
wrote:

i really don't know how else to say no, aside from maybe 'no fucking way'

no fucking way

Reva Bhalla wrote:

It's an analogy, Peter. Also, this is a marketing campaign, emphasis on marketing -- not an analytical feature. The question of whether this attracts more people to stratfor or drives them away should come from Grant's judgment. Aaric used to put out the most ridiculous campaigns, completely devoid of analytical value. We are introducing an intelligent and witty marketing campaign that highlights the core of our geopolitical method. I would really urge you to not close your mind to this and understand this is about marketing. I've run this by ppl completely disinterested in soccer abd they were completely captivated. My brother, a marketing guru, also agrees this is a great way to bring attention to stratfor.
Marko and I will be drafting up an intro to the WC series that will explain the geopol thrust behind this campaign to show to George, Grant and yourself.

Sent from my iPhone
On Jun 5, 2010, at 2:20 PM, Peter Zeihan
wrote:

i couldn't possibly disagree more, and lines like what i've copied from your texts below do a lot more than simply set my teeth on edge

Similarly, Argentina's team this year is bursting with offensive firepower with Lionel Massi, Diego Militio and Carlos Tevez on the field. Yet, while Argentina holds all the cards going into this World Cup, the biggest question looking forward is the whether the dubious leadership of soccer legend Diego Maradona can lead the team to victory.

This is a lesson that Athens can learn from its national football team. Considering the lack of offensive talent and flair that distinguishes its Balkan neighbors, Greece has adopted an unattractive defensive style that nonetheless brought them a surprising 2004 European Football Championship. The question for Greece, therefore, is whether it will learn from its football squad that living and playing within onea**s means is a recipe for success.

Reva Bhalla wrote:

the whole point is to use the world cup to highlight our geopolitical methodology. The analogies between the geopolitical positions of each country and the teams in these match-ups works really well. It's just a clever marketing campaign that differentiates stratfor -- one that has already been endorsed by both George and Grant. Whether you watch soccer or not, the world cup can be very geopolitically relevant. It's simply a fun and creative way to attract readers to our site. I've circulated a couple of our briefs around to a banking source in Latin America and a DoD contact, and they both went nuts over it. I seriously doubt that this would 'drive readers away.' It's just one highlight per week, that's all. Nobody else can claim this angle. Without the actual World Cup angle, this is just a publication of mini monographs and there is no tie-in to the World Cup, which defeats the whole purpose of the idea.
On Jun 5, 2010, at 11:57 AM, Peter Zeihan wrote:

actually i'm in canada thru next wednesday (cold and rainy out here)

and im pretty dead set against anything that touches sports analysis

so if you want this to happen it will have to be in the teeth of my utter and total opposition

Reva Bhalla wrote:

Hi Peter,
Hope you're back safely from Canada-land. Marko and I came up with a really great marketing campaign for STRATFOR: The Geopolitics of the World Cup. Grant loves the idea and George has also given his support. I'm copying and pasting our original pitch to George so you can see where we are going with this. We already have drafts and ideas for most countries, so this will take minimal effort from the analysts side. Grant is also ready to mobilize his marketing sources. We think this would be a great way to drive readers to our site, and we hope you agree.
The full email thread with George and Grant's input is below. Please let us know what you think so we can get rollin' with this.
Thanks!
Reva

On Jun 5, 2010, at 1:31 AM, George Friedman wrote:

Assuming we have the people and resources to make this an outstansding job also take care of other tasks, I think this is a great idea. Have you cleared this with peter?

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: "Grant Perry"
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 17:20:53 -0500 (CDT)
To: 'Reva Bhalla';
'George Friedman'
Cc: 'Marko Papic'
Subject: RE: GEORGE -- A solid idea that
requires your approval
George,

Therea**s not much I can add to the strong case Reva makes for this series, but I do want to emphasize how powerful I think it could be in driving traffic, free list signups, sales and in brand-building. I like the concept because not only does it leverage the tremendous interest in the World Cup but does it in a way that shows off our methodology more effectively than a pure marketing piece can. Ita**s opportunistic in the best sense, and the content would be a**on-branda** and consistent with STRATFORa**s quality standards. Moreover, the series would expose STRATFOR to potentially fertile audience segments that we otherwise might have trouble reaching, whether ita**s young professionals in Brazil, Indian entrepreneurs or European bankers a** theya**re all soccer fans and obsessed with the World Cup.

I say go for it.

Grant

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Reva Bhalla
[mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, June 04, 2010 4:24 PM
To: George Friedman
Cc: Grant Perry; Marko Papic
Subject: GEORGE -- A solid idea that requires
your approval

George,

You are currently in Turkey, the crossroads of civilization, the epicenter of geopolitics. The country loves you, your face is plastered all over Istanbul, the world respects STRATFOR. Life is good.

But we can make it better.

We have a great marketing idea that will:

a) highlight STRATFOR's geopolitical methodology
b) battle the perception that STRATFOR is too US-centric
c) feed into a global frenzy to drive thousands of readers to our site

On June 11, the bulk of the world's attention is going to be on the World Cup. Everyone from Foreign Policy magazine to Goldman Sachs is covering the event. Marko and I have a unique, salient and intelligent way for STRATFOR to give its geopolitical perspective to this global event.

The idea is to pick a geopolitically-relevant country every week and use the World Cup to hook our readers into reading our fresh, contemporary, intelligent geopolitical take. This could take place on the free list, on the site, whatever Grant says.

Take Argentina, for example:

Argentina

Argentina is endowed with wide swaths of arable land, natural resources and an interconnected river transport network. The country has the most potential on the South American continent to reach worldwide geopolitical stardom. Yet decades of populist policies, military control and severe economic mismanagement have the country constantly flirting with economic collapse (LINK). Similarly, Argentina's team this year is bursting with offensive firepower with Lionel Massi, Diego Militio and Carlos Tevez on the field. Yet, while Argentina holds all the cards going into this World Cup, the biggest question looking forward is the whether the dubious leadership of soccer legend Diego Maradona can lead the team to victory.

Or, Greece

Greece managed to parlay its geopolitical importance since independence in the early 18th Century to gain patronage from the U.K. and the U.S, allowing the country to compete with Turkey (LINK) next door. But since the end of the Cold War Greece has been unable to cope with its relegation into the minor league of geopolitics, which in part led to the debt crisis it faces today. The Greek debt crisis will continue to rock the nation, with strikes and political unrest (LINK) becoming the norm as the state is forced to implement harsh austerity measures. The message the EU has sent to Greece is that it has to learn to live within its means. (LINK: Monograph) This is a lesson that Athens can learn from its national football team. Considering the lack of offensive talent and flair that distinguishes its Balkan neighbors, Greece has adopted an unattractive defensive style that nonetheless brought them a surprising 2004 European Football Championship. The question for Greece, therefore, is whether it will learn from its football squad that living and playing within onea**s means is a recipe for success.

As you can see, STRATFOR's Geopolitics of the World Cup would simply consist of these briefs with an accompanying graphic every week. This would be a definite crowd pleaser and marketing success -- I guarantee it. We would do the United States, Brazil, South Africa, Germany, Portugal, South and North Korea, Japan, etc. We have already been brainstorming with the analysts on this, and have some great ideas to go on.

We already have pitched the idea to Grant, and he is all for it. All we need is your go-ahead, and we can make this happen.

Hope your travels are going well,

Reva

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