We all know that underwriting provides incredible value to our sponsors. Why then, when we’re talking with a prospective underwriter about their on-air message, do we take a position of weakness by saying something such as, “We can’t say that in an underwriting credit”?
You’ve shared the strengths and benefits of underwriting to your prospect. So, when it comes to talking about copy, why put yourself at a disadvantage? You can avoid that situation by having a plan and being proactive.
1. Take the lead in the conversation.
From your first meeting with your prospect, make use of the notes you took about his business or your completed customer needs analysis form. Refer to what the prospect said he believes are the three important pieces of information about his business or service offerings that he wants his current and prospective customers to know.
2. Create copy based on your prospect’s three main points about his business, products, and/or services.
Believe it or not, your prospect has almost written the underwriting copy for you. He told you the three pieces of information he wants his customers to know about his company’s products or service. With the credit copy guidelines in mind, you can easily complete the credit.
3. Include written and/or recorded copy with proposals.
Your proposal should include a recap of the value and benefits of underwriting, a recap of the purpose of the prospect’s on-air campaign, and the recommended media schedule. If you have a recording of the credit and a written version that’s great. That way your prospect can follow along when you play the recording. But before you play the credit or read it aloud to your prospect, remind him of the information he previously told you that he wants his customers to know about his company’s products or service. It’s that information that is the basis for the credit copy.
4. Provide copy tips and advice.
Explain why you wrote the copy the way you did. Mention that your aim is to avoid clutter and to focus on the main message rather than having a hodgepodge of information. You can also have two versions of the credit to see which one the prospect prefers. While this is also a technique to close a sales, it’s also a very real situation and valid question. If your prospect can’t decide which credit to run, then go with both of them and alternate them throughout the schedule.
You can also consider showing the prospect credit copy from some of your other underwriters This may help the prospect understand even better how a well-crafted credit can make his campaign a success.
5. Position copywriting as a free service you provide.
Whether you write the underwriting credit yourself or you have someone at the station who provides assistance, it’s a valuable free benefit for the prospect. You know the FCC guidelines and can craft a message that achieves your prospect’s marketing goals while you maintain compliance with FCC rules for credit copy. You’ve put your time into creating an underwriting credit. Since your time is valuable and you're providing that value for free, the service should be part of your complete proposal.