The Cool Projects I worked for (part 3) – Rodric Leerling


MTG NL – influencer marketing, MCN’s, video concepts

Looking back, I think I can say that most of my recent freelance sales projects added up nicely. During the last couple of years, I’ve worked on new media concepts like crowdsourcing, video advertising, influencer marketing, online reputation and, most recently, advocacy marketing. I admit I didn’t plan it this way, but in hindsight, they are connected and each project taught me to effectively work with new digital communicating tools. Moving away from the conventional broadcast model, aka outbound marketing, and building up inbound marketing tools, attracting buyers to your (personal) brand and products, using quality digital content.

When I was approached by the job search agency and asked to help the Dutch branch of Swedish MTG introduce crowdsourcing in their video producers network, I didn’t hesitate and accepted the new challenge. Nobody had a clue of what crowdsourcing was about but I was the expert as I spearheaded the video crowdsourcing platform in Europe.

I quickly learned that their platform of YouTubers (grouped in so-called Multi-Channel Networks) wasn’t that high quality, and more of a mass MCN mainly consisting of gamers and the odd beauty vlogger. With one or two exceptions, hardly interesting for advertising brands in that capacity, let alone try to crowdsource videos for advertising. Revenue-wise it was very lucrative, though, aggregating these YouTube channels, taking a percentage of the producers’ advertising earnings, helping them negotiate with YouTube and training them how to become a big name fast. It made me come up with new ideas to attract new video producers to join the MCN, offering them new production concepts in travel and beauty.

Other MCN’s like Machinima, Maker Studios and Fullscreen were all about scale and gobbled up by TV networks like AOL and Disney.  I guess that’s what attracted MTG to buy the Dutch MCN and their international video production network: delivering eyeballs and digital video. But within the major MCN’s only the top performers got the attention and the rest felt they were not getting the attention they deserved. Result: always complaints and threats of leaving the MCN when a contract term was up.

They new way forward for MCN’s today is becoming digital-first production houses. The newly formed media companies are using only top video performers, creating and focusing on producing digital video content which can be monetized across multiple platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube etc.


The Cool Projects I Worked For (part 2) – Rodric Leerling


In my original business plan, foreign media representation was given a pivotal role. It was after all my home ground: back in 1988 I chose to become an ad sales guy and specialize as ‘foreign media rep’. Over the years I met and visited many print publishers and there are always magazines that needed a reliable media rep. I later decided to specialize in the B2B sector and build my portfolio likewise. But boy, has the market changed drastically in a short time….

From the moment I launched my company in 2004, I worked as media rep for the Japanese B2B publisher Nikkei Business Publication. Their portolio included IT, industrial, electronic and construction magazines. They hadn’t been happy with my successor ever since I left my first employer and were glad I was willing and able to pick up the Benelux sales work again. This representation would eventually lead to my adventure of working for  the same group in the US between 2006-2009. After returning home in 2009, I would pick up the Nikkei BP Benelux contract again (2009-2015). Eventually the European sales office would close in 2016 due to lack of consistent ad business.

In the same B2B category and timeframe, I signed on Huson Media and Chatila Publishing House.

Huson Media (2011-2015) has a large portfolio of B2B magazines from different publishers worldwide. They signed on global rep contracts and either handled ad sales from the London office or contracted local independent media reps to run the show as sub contractors. Their portfolio contained Elsevier global industrial pubs and national European IT and electronics pubs. I started this sub-contractor service in 2011 and continued it until late 2015. The ad business basically shifted to Adwords or almost dried up during the economic crisis. A double negative wammy.

Chatila Publishing House (2011-2015) is running B2B publications in the Middle East and covering the sectors water, construction, food and healthcare. Business for me stayed pretty small and it mostly served to generate leads at trade shows and email shots. The ME political and military crisis didn’t help to grow the business and I decided to hand back my contract by the end of 2015.

Concluding: I hardly see a sustainable business in running a foreign media representation, especially in the B2B business especially when limited for the Benelux market space. It really hurt to say goodbye to my foreign publishers, but it was time to move on and adapt my business model to a fast changing market situation.


Tags: media representation, media reps, foreign media, media sales, Rodric Leerling,, RefRod, Sales Power Provider, Customer & Employee Advocacy, Advocacy Marketing.

Check your whistle ref! – Rodric Leerling

It apparently is known as the ‘referee’s ear’. I never heard of it before (…) but ever since I have this ringing noise in my head, I started to connect the dots.

The whistle I’ve been using over the years (Tornado 2000) is high pitched and carrying a long way. So much even that players sometimes complained about the noise. And I even started to cover one ear while blowing the whistle sometimes to protect my (left) ear.

Digging around, I found this study: “Sports Officials’ Hearing Status: Whistle Use as a Factor Contributing to Hearing Trouble,” published in 2013 in The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. Major conclusion: with whistle volume measuring from 104 to 116 decibels at the ear, the safe daily noise dose is exceeded in just 5 to 90 seconds (seconds, not minutes ref!). The most commonly used whistle, the Fox 40 Classic, measured 106 decibels, allowing for just 48 seconds before damaging exposure, or 96 whistle blows of half a second each.

So what can referees do to protect their hearing? Dr. Hughes suggested using “vented” ear molds. “They are custom-fitted to the ear canal and reduce sound by up to 25 decibels,” he said. “That reduction will let referees perform their duty while protecting their ears all day.”

Another, much better solution is to compare whistles on decibel levels and choose a different, healthier one. In this Whistle Decibel Comparison Chart it is obvious that most are too strong for your own hearing, including my Tornado 2000 (126dB) ! Protect yourself from getting that same irritating noise I’m experiencing for a while now and tone it down ref!

And in goes Cortisone nr3 ….. – Rodric Leerling

The hopes were high after two months of no excessive fluid build up in my right knee. The first injection in September only lasted one month. The second injection went in October 4.

After two month, the doctor allowed me to start slowly testing the knee again. Well, after three physio exercise visits I was back to square one. The knee swell within one week. Back in hospital, Cortisone nr 3 was injected under the kneecap and 30ml of fluid taken out.

But this time I reported my doctor both my wrists were hurting again, signalling a possible rheumatic problem lurking in the background. On top of the 3rd injection I’m now also on a new med track slowing down a possible early rheumatic ailment. It still doesn’t mean a verdict for chronic ailment and there are hopes for curing this once the meds do the trick.

Onw thing is clear: football refereeing is definitely over untill mid 2018.

I gave it a try but alas.