The classic argument about rates has been a topic of much debate on the boards of late. Kind of gets one to thinking: By now we should have learned one lesson from it all: The more you hammer the SP's and agencies that they owe it to all, to lower rates, the more SP's and Agencies will dig in their collective heels. You'd think everybody'd catch on by now.
The old axiom still applies: You will always get better results using the carrot rather than the stick. There are already a couple of agencies offering specials to members of the boards. Patronize them! You want better SP's? Tip them well and praise their efforts. Not just with reviews but where it counts – in the pocketbook. Institute little promos on the board. The MODS will frown on slandering an agency (and rightly so) but I am sure that initiatives to boost the “gems” both SP's and agencies just might be well received and reap benefits. Why not approach the MODS with requests for stickies like:
“Merbites SP of the week” Rig it with a regenerating poll and members might be a little more generous with tips, for example.
“Merbites Best Value (Special, promo, etc.) Of The Week” and encourage members to support that agency.
Allow agencies and Indies to advertise these endorsements on their websites as a “seal of approval”. Just two easy to institute examples of the types of promos possible. Will they work? Is it not human nature to just say, “Screw it! Nothing will change!” or “Let the others do it! And I'll reap the benefits!” Yeah I believe there is a business doctrine rooted in the “Guide to Office Politics” floating around espousing that concept. But look where that kind of self-serving thinking has got us. But, by way of example, consider that those who patronize public television support it with real cash. And is it not becoming something of an initiative on the restaurant circuit to have customers pay what they think is fair. People will rise to the occasion. Might be worth a shot!
I just threw out a couple of ideas off the top of my head and I would bet that others here could even come up with better. But one thing for sure, letting the discussion devolve into a verbal tiff between the members, guys and SP's, might be entertaining but that's all it is.