Here’s the real reason newspaper execs come to the NAA Marketing conference in Orlando – or any conference. To network. To meet, greet, boast, learn and most importantly ask questions.
Dan “Patio” Dalton. It you’re in the media biz, you probably get his emails. He is a one-man marketing machine, with a personal brand: an image of himself on his porch. I’m not kidding.
But everyone knows Patio Man. And he’s always at these conferences. So he runs into Kelly Fry, OPUBCO Communications Group Vice President for News and Information Center (now that’s a title!), and me on the trade show floor and demands we spend 30 seconds with him. He can be a pest, but that’s the mark of the good salesman I guess. He is tenacious. We give him the 30 seconds and his product is solid. In fact we have used Content That Works, his company, for a while now.
However, he convinces us to join him and his co-workers and the company CEO Paul Kamp for dinner. So now we have an adventure on our hands as they say we are headed to a hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant located somewhere in an Orlando strip mall.
How could this go wrong, right?
Of course we roll in, nine strong, and grab a corner table. Place is packed. Mostly with locals I think. I’m not sure how anyone else would know about this place. Paul is a former restaurant/food critic outta Chicago, so we kinda trust he knows his pasta. In fact, he breaks down the difference between North side and South side pasta (alfredo vs tomato, sorta).
But we don’t get pasta. We order the special, the sea bass. I’ve never had sea bass. In fact, I’m not sure I want sea bass in Oklahoma. It’s great though. Really top notch fish. Served with potatos cut lengthwise. I usually try to include a price, but Paul and Dan ordered for the group so I didn’t get a good look at the menu.