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Find your marketplace

The Wall Street Journal has a story about how while the lumber industry felt an unexpected boon from the pandemic, it’s the sawmills, many of which are Canadian-owned, that reaped the benefits, not the timber growers themselves.

From the Journal: “Mr. Hopkins raises timber on a 25-year rotation to support himself and make payments to more than a dozen shareholders in the 109-year-old family business. Because the pines take about a quarter-century to be suitable for lumber, just 4% of the land produces income each year, though taxes are owed on every acre. He said it is like managing a store where he can sell only merchandise from a few shelves.”

We recently talked about SilviaTerra, the company that creates a data-driven, private sector forest carbon marketplace for landowners to interact with companies seeking carbon credits. While Mr. Hopkins, and landowners like him, wait for the acres of his land to be suitable for lumber, could he be supplementing some of his expenses by entering SilviaTerra’s marketplace and getting paid for the carbon stored in his unharvested pines?

Sales vs. Marketing

We heard an interesting answer to a question the other day in a Clubhouse Room called “BossTalk” hosted by Ben Horowitz, Marc Andreessen, and Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi.

The question was “should marketing report to sales or should sales report to marketing?” Both have the same goal: acquire new customers and bring in revenue. But both have a fundamentally different mission on how to do that. Sales is driven by quarterly results. Marketing doesn’t have hard quotas. The ensuing tension is natural. Congressional offices aren’t for-profit enterprises, but we are for problem solving. To better serve that mission, getting word out on what we do is important. There’s a pressure to do that frequently through earned media in the traditional sense. We can think of that as a monthly or quarterly sales quota executed by a press secretary or communications director. We’ve talked of “going direct” in this blog before, but the blocking and tackling of legacy communications still exists.

But like marketing, a long-term vision to sustain a brand and inspire new and existing customers (or in our case, constituents) can deliver a careers-worth of fulfillment. Congressional offices don’t have the luxury of hiring separate marketing and communications people. But it’s important to think about executing both job scopes. That’s in part, what this blog is all about. And you won’t have to worry about warring departments.

Something to think about

Texas’ energy grid is continuing to drive conversation about our nation’s energy security and the very infrastructure itself. Many are saying that a version of what happened in Texas could happen anywhere in the future if we aren’t vigilant. That’s probably true. But aside from power sources and electricity, what other essential components of our day to day and its supporting infrastructure should we keep an eye on? Part two of Texas’ energy crisis was water main breaks and frozen water pipes. Are other parts of the country better prepared, or are we one more polar vortex away from collapse? We’re not plumbing experts, but as we continue to hear stories of antiquated water systems in counties across the country, we’ll be hoping to learn before it’s too late.

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