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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Argentina´s Best Kept Secret?

I have long felt like my company was one of those best kept secrets out there.

The people that I would go and pitch my product to didn´t know who I was, they never saw my product, they weren´t sure if they could sell it.

The people I would sell to during the holiday fairs had never heard of us, and would not know where to buy our cookies.

The magazine people would often offer us publicity in exchange for cookies. That´s right, I now have an alternative currency.

The TV people would offer me interviews in exchange for money. Yep, I could buy airtime. I tried to tell them that since no one knew who we were, we really could not afford buying air time by the minute.

All of that has slowly, but steadily changed.

I now have little time to go out and look for clients, they are calling me.

I am so busy that I can no longer participate in fairs or expos.

Magazines and Newspapers are calling us for interviews and a couple of TV shows have jumped on the bandwagon as well, and they are not charging me anymore.

I had my first foreign based interview. John Bell from Digital Influence Mapping Project was in town and he was wondering if it was "easier for small businesses to "get" social media?". Here is an article in Apertura (in Spanish) that weighs in with more evidence to the affirmative to his question.

However, I have not had any luck with any of the foreign media that have been lurking along the cobblestone streets of my Palermo Viejo.

This past Sunday an article was published in Clarin, Argentina´s largest newspaper. The article itself will take a while to go on-line. I was also asked three questions by Apertura. This last one will be in print only.

I also have an interview on the radio scheduled for this Saturday morning. The station is called Radio America. The show is called "El Emprendedor Urbano" / "The Urban Entrepreneur", and it will air from 11am to 12pm. No, I am sure my segment will not be an hour long, more like 5 or 10 minutes most likely. They tell me that this is a brand new show so it doesn´t show up on their line-up yet.

Meanwhile, our humble little store chugs merrily along. It´s very quite and does not see a lot of action. However, every month it manages to sell a little more. This is how I am gauging that we are still a secret in Buenos Aires. In fact, the editor of Time Out Buenos Aires did not even know about us. She has not set foot in our little store... yet. If there is anyone out there that should know about us it should be them.

Now that they do know about us and they are visiting us, together with Clarin´s article, I am beginning to feel nostalgic for that time when we were still underneath the radar. At least, for the foreign media we still are Argentina´s best kept secret.
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