North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › IMPORTANT: Billboards in Sept. & SPEAKER on Sat. 10/13/07!

IMPORTANT: Billboards in Sept. & SPEAKER on Sat. 10/13/07!

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Old Toad
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
There are several important NTOS events I would like to call to your attention. I hope you will respond in support of building a society based on Ayn Rand's philosophy of reality and reason.



IMPORTANT EVENTS FROM OUR CALENDAR:

We always hope you will participate in our events when you can, but the following events are especially important:

Tue., Sep. 18, 2007 -- NTOS BILLBOARDS GO UP: "WHO IS JOHN GALT?"

Sat., Sep. 29, 2007 -- 51st Social Gathering @ the Ranch
Let's hope we have the chance to meet more new people after the billboards go up!

Sat., Oct. 13, 2007 -- Speaker Dr. John Ridpath
This is an especially rare opportunity to hear a prominent Objectivist speaker in Dallas!

Please visit our calendar to see all our upcoming events at: http://aynrand.meetup...­



MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER


Dr. Ridpath is a prominent Objectivist philosopher, he knew Ayn Rand personally for about twenty years, he is on the Board of Directors for the Ayn Rand Institute, and he considers himself to be a friendly ambassador for Objectivism.

Hosting Objectivist speakers is one of the special intellectual activities of we are offering through NTOS. I hope you will consider how rare is for us to have the opportunity to hear such a prominent speaker in Dallas. Your support will also help us to bring in speakers in the future!

To RSVP for this and other upcoming events, please visit our calendar at:
http://aynrand.meetup...­



MORE ABOUT OUR BILLBOARDS:

Our billboards will be going up late night Sept. 18, 2007 for 2-3 days, which should reach more than 1/2 million cars daily! Keep your eyes peeled!

Text:
WHO IS JOHN GALT?
OBJECTIVIST SOCIETY .COM

Locations:
I-35 S.B. @Beltline (200,000 cars/day) (for 2 days);
Central S.B. @ LBJ (250,000 cars/day) for 2 days);
Dallas N. Tollway @ Maple (130,000 cars/day) (for 3 days).


It would be especially valuable and supportive for our members to make an effort to participate for major events in the weeks after the billboards go up. Please support our efforts to have a positive influence in our own lives and in the world around us!


Organizer,
North Texas Objectivist Society
Old Toad
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 610
John D. sent me a few pics, and here's a great one:


Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 577
oooo pretty!

Have you gotten any hits yet?
Old Toad
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 613
So far, we have picked up two members in direct response to the billboards, and probably three members (though I am not sure about the source on one of them):


"Hello! I was tickled to death to see a billboard with "Who is John Galt?" on SB 35 @ Belt Line. I yearn to be around people who have similar views as my own!" -- Chris R.


"Just saw your billboard at the tollway heading out of downtown. Great reminder of what is out there to be had!" -- Randall R.

I don't have great data sources or tracking, but locally (where I advertise on Google) I have seen about 4 times the rate of Google searches on the keywords "Who is John Galt" and "John Galt," too, but those are probably mostly of people just curious about the billboards who have not read Atlas Shrugged.

So we have learned at least this: Such a billboard up for just two or three days can yield one interested person to sign up as a member who has not otherwise ever heard of us.

But the experiment raises several other questions, for example: Would different text or more "hang time" be more productive? Or is the medium just too expensive for us?
A former member
Post #: 139
So the average is $1,000 per person?

And how many people saw the ad, about 500K?

If 500,000 people saw the add, that's a conversion rate of 0.00004.

I think we're on the cusp of world-wide domination by Objectivists thought. :)

Presuming a 2:3 ratio, 244 new members per year if the conversion rate holds steady.

Currently daily spend is $667, annualized to $243,455.

So $243,455 over 5 years is $1.2M for 1220 new members. This does not include any growth because of birth rate, immigration, liberterians or other non-terrestrials.

I am not a Nay-Sayer or a Nattering Naybob of Negativity. These are just the figures.

So, indeed, is this too expensive? :) I think the question has been answered.

Regards,

Pytheus
Old Toad
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 614
Hi Pytheus,

Perhaps some additional context might help explain why I view the results more positively.

My family has put a lot of time and money into NTOS. Obviously, we're not doing so because we think "we're on the cusp of world-wide domination by Objectivists thought."

An organization like NTOS may not be the best or only way to stop the tsunami of primacy of insanity headed our way. But it is the most immediately relevant thing I know how to do in our lives -- despite its occasionally being derided as ineffective or hopeless. I cannot tell anyone how much time and money my family has spent on NTOS because I do not know. But I can tell you this much: I guesstimate it is on the order of a thousand hours of lost time from my business over the last two and half years plus substantial cash, too, especially for making our home more suitable for hosting large social gatherings. (The good news is I think many issues have been resolved and it is requiring less of my time than it has over the past two years.) And contrary to appearances, my family is not financially secure or even in a good position to do this.

Why do I and my family spend so much time and money on NTOS? Not just because it has an immediate and positive impact on our family's life, which it does. But also because we think that if we can find a formula that works to start locally organizing people interested in Objectivism, it could be repeated elsewhere for a small fraction of the time and money we have invested. This is why I am so obsessed with making NTOS based on standards and not my whim. This is why I have plans for a constitution for NTOS. This is why I think it is crucial that NTOS be a success.

Even if otherwise successful, it would be a failure for my extended purposes if other Objectivists around the country were to say: "Gee, aren't they lucky they have such a dedicated Organizer down there in Dallas?" It would be a failure if NTOS dies when my family cannot continue to indefinitely support it to this extent. And it would be a failure if it cannot be reproduced a lot easier and more cost-effectively than it takes to do it the first time.

I do not know what else to do for me and mine. Is it too early to have an Objectivist society like we aspire for NTOS? Maybe. In the context of our lives, do we have more important things to do? No.

What does it mean if we gain two or three extra members earlier than later? They may be like the proverbial drops in a bucket against the tsunami. Or they may help turn out to be great friends and help turn the tidal wave before it is too late for me and mine. And the same for each of our members and their families.

Ayn Rand gave us the ideas to change the world. It is up to us -- in our rational self-interest and self-defense -- to live and promote those ideas.

Do you have any positive suggestions for more effective advertising of NTOS? Or for promoting Objectivist thought in general? Will you help, even if it takes $1,000 to find each new member as we build the model?


Note: I corrected two typos.
A former member
Post #: 16
The best advertising is part of a campaign involving many different media. An isolated billboard ad, print ad, radio ad or whatever will rarely generate much of a response.

Clearly, the billboard route is not cost effective for the society's purposes. And I can't imagine that changing the words would make a significant difference.

I strongly suggest that getting a story done in the Dallas media (newspaper, TV, radio) about the society should be the priority. I guarantee this would be a gazillion times more effective than any kind of paid advertising.

The benefit is it would be essentially free to get a story done about the society. The downside is you have no direct control over whether it happens.

The hook for a potential story about the society could be the 50 year anniversary of Atlas Shrugged and how Rand's ideas are more popular than ever. Perhaps this has already been tried. If this is the case and you've had no luck, don't give up.

Nick
A former member
Post #: 140
Dear Old Toad,

I KNEW I would get a reaction! tongue

Of course the current cost/value equation is imperfect. Is one new member WORTH $1000? I admit I don't know. This was an experiment in trail and error, if you view it postitively then I am happy with that conclusion. I don't have enough baseline data to make such a qualitative conclusion myself. But as my figures, which I did off the top of my head in about 5 minutes, indicate, that current spend rate cannot be continued. Unless, of course, you studied not chemistry but alchemy and have discovered that elusive formula for turning lead into gold. biggrin

I think all this goes right back to one of our original discussions...how to get people to know about NTOS and participate. Please understand, I don't think the billboard idea was a bad, but you simply asked if it was too expensive and I gave you some figures.

You want a positive idea, here's one...content! I think you can reach just as many people in the DFW area with a great website, good UPDATED content, and internet ads for less money. As David's website demonstrates, there is good participation in lively intellectual discussions (You seem to spend plenty of time there chatting). So that has to be "transferred" to a "live" setting. Our current "packaging", for lack of a better term, is, to be honest, BORING. Because I am certain there are people out there who aren't message board geeks like you and me, but who do use the internet. Now don't get your feathers in a ruffle, I'm NOT saying the message board is bad by any means. I am simply offering a positive suggestion that maybe it needs the next step...a full blown website complete with interesting content.

"Selling" ideas is even harder than selling a book or a tire or a knock-off designer handbag.

Just like the lively discussion we had about sponsored events. I think, in my OPINION, sponsored "functions" should be limited to those that are "culturally enriching". That doesn't mean members can't organize for beer, D&D or other things.

Here's another one...what does it cost for a full page ad in The Dallas Morning News? Another one...internet radio ads, how about that? Maybe internet video ads? Does DFW have any public access TV, what about a program? What about doing an internet radio program? (And doing it better than you know who).

Now if you want help, you tell me when and I will come over one Sat and you and I will do the research, put together the costs/budget, make some projections on effectiveness and build the plan, step by friggin step. Want to do it this Sat or Sun? I'll spend all day helping you build this so we can see what may, or may not, work. For me, and the ONLY way I know how to assess effectiveness, it's all about the numbers. If all this seems to formal and business-like I'm sorry, I'm a product of my training.

My staff will tell you I have two common sayings:

1) Make a plan, work the plan.
2) It's ALL about the numbers. Wishes and feelings don't count.

If you want to get serious, call me. Otherwise I will keep enjoying your truly motivational posts. cool

I hope you call.

Pytheus
A former member
Post #: 49
I love the message board. We got more than two members from the billboards. We got some knowledge points too.

I think if finding new members is the goal then there probably are effective means to do so. I suspect that door hangers would be a fairly effective medium if you put them out in affluent neighborhoods. I think that because I get door hangers from churches all the time. If churches know anything it is how best to recruite members. A door hanger needs an offer so there needs to be some sort of open house with free stuff attached to it. I suggest that open house not be at Todd's ranch because one does not know what one may attract. There needs to be a screening process.

Todd,

For me finding NTOS is a life changing event in many ways. Don't let anyone tell you that 2 members are not worth finding. It may be the most important thing anyone has ever done for them.

Isaac
Chad
prorescue
Norman, OK
Post #: 42
It's difficult to assess the intangibles with something like the billboard. I think any new members means it was a success. Also, it will give us hard data on what something like this can do. I think we will learn more as we grow and explore different means of advertising. When you look nationwide or even worldwide at organizations ACTIVELY promoting rational thought, you aren't going to find many putting up billboards. That fact alone makes me proud to be involved (albeit sporadically) with the NTOS.

Chad V.
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