How to Handle Common Objections to Digital Sponsorship

digital sponsorship, Corporate Support

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Just like with other advertising platforms, underwriters who are considering digital sponsorship can have recurring concerns that prevent them from signing deals, whether they are skeptical about digital advertising in general, or perhaps have unrealistic expectations of what digital marketing alone can achieve.

Concern: Is Digital Sponsorship Generally Effective?

It's not uncommon to hear that underwriters have concerns about digital in general, or feel their click-through rates are too low. These underwriters may be accustomed to cheaper CPMs, and may have a dislike or distrust of mobile media.

Although digital is known to be effective and generates a massive amount of underwriting revenue, some underwriters have general concerns about digital and hesitate to allocate a portion of their budget to this type of sponsorship. These are usually underwriters who have a lack of personal experience with buying digital.

Response: Examples of Success

If a potential sponsor believes digital isn't as effective as traditional media, try sharing relevant examples and success stories. We recommend showing examples of competitors running digital ads; MOAT.com is a website that provides insights into where advertisers are running their ads, and can be a good source for advertisers, for example.

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Your Cheat Sheet for Digital Sponsorship Calculations

digital sponsorship, Corporate Support

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There’s one reality that every sales rep runs into when becoming a great digital salesperson:

You’re going to have to do some math.

To be clear, it’s not complicated math. And for those of us who do not enjoy spending our time working on calculations, I say: Don’t be intimidated!

Sure, if you read this blog post and never revisit the calculations, the formulas you need for digital sales may feel out of reach. But, if you write down these formulas, tape them to your office wall so you can review them - maybe even try some metrics-calculating practice sessions with your underwriting or digital team - they will become second nature to you.

Calculating CPM

Our first essential calculation is CPM, one of the most frequently used digital calculations:

Revenue = ( Impressions / 1,000 ) x CPM

This is one of those key metrics that everyone selling digital needs to know backwards and forwards.

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Secrets of the Best Sales Reps: Systems

sales strategy, Corporate Support, prospecting

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I used to work for a guy who would ask one key question during the interview process: “What makes you good at what you do?” If the candidate couldn’t articulate that, he wasn’t interested in hiring them. When I asked him about it, he said that really good salespeople have a self-awareness of why they are successful that makes their behavior repeatable. And this is the key: Do you know what you do when you win, and can you do it again…and again...and again?

As sales reps we need to know what brings us success so that we can repeat that behavior. Having good systems is one of the best ways to do that. Systems allow you to build self-awareness of why and how prospects choose to do business with you. You can be the most charming and persuasive person, but if you can’t keep track of yourself, those wins will merely be luck- and not necessarily repeatable.

Accounts

For active accounts, you should have a way to track past, current, and future billing. Are they spending more each year, the same, or less? Do you know why? You need to offer excellent service to your active accounts which includes meeting their copy needs and knowing when to change the message.

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Sure-Bet Tactics to Renew Underwriting Clients

sales strategy, Corporate Support, underwriter renewal

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I was contacted recently by an underwriting salesperson with a question about renewing one of his account's annual underwriting agreement. He told me that the year-long agreement was ending in a month and he hadn’t talked to the underwriter since the agreement was signed the previous year.

I told him he was about ten months late in starting the renewal process.

The way I see it, the renewal process for underwriting should begin when you first sign up a new underwriter.

I don’t mean that you should have a renewal agreement ready to give to your first-time underwriter. However, when a businessperson signs their first underwriting agreement, that’s when it’s time to ramp up your relationship with the account and start to plan for the future. Instead of thinking of the process as a renewal, look at it as a continuation of your business relationship

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Bust Your Organization's Internal Silos With an Audience-Centric Approach

PMDMC, Membership, Corporate Support, Major Giving, General Management, marketing, leadership, strategy

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This interactive session  was first presented by Atlantic 57 at PMDMC 2018. You can try three session exercises with your own team to explore how to put these principles into practice.

There's a division in many newsrooms today that has an impact on how well we serve our audiences. 

Most newsroom reporters and editors focus on creating content, while those in digital roles focus on distributing that content or analyzing audience analytics.

The challenge: Newsrooms are struggling to bridge the divide between old and new.

When these groups work as two teams instead of one, newsrooms struggle to bridge the divide between old ways of presenting content and the new ways in which audiences consume content. It's a gap that has a significant impact on the audience experience:

The solution: Unite your teams to serve your audiences.

Put the needs of your audiences at the center of your work. This seems like a no-brainer. And yet, many organizations are falling short of this goal. There are three key barriers that stand in the way. We'll outline what those barriers are, and how to bridge them. 

BARRIER 1: Media organizations try to be everything to everyone, everywhere.

Sound familiar? Audiences are moving across platforms at a rapid pace (think podcasting, social media, smart speakers...) Many organizations are scrambling to keep up with these platform shifts and can lose sight of the larger mission. 

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How to Better Motivate Your Sales Team This Year

managers, Corporate Support, New Year's resolutions

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When I worked in the sales department at a commercial radio station, the sales manager went to the extreme to motivate the sales staff just prior to the fourth quarter in preparation for the holidays and leading into the new year. 

There was a huge kickoff meeting, with sales contests and incentives such as trips, double the sales-commission rate, and cash bonuses. But all the “rah-rah” and pom-pom shaking can’t fix a motivation problem.

Sales reps continually face outside circumstances that affect their motivation. Prospects and customers tell them "no" over and over again; the timing may be wrong to sell a particular sales promotion; or there may be some personal situation going on affecting a person’s ability to sell. 

As a sales manager I know that the motivation of sales people can affect their productivity. With an eye toward improving the success of your sales staff, here are some ideas to boost their motivation. 

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Farm Bill Changes Legal Status of Certain Types of CBD Oil - What That Means for Underwriting

FCC, Corporate Support, cannabis

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On Thursday, January 20, 2018, President Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, better known as "the farm bill," into law. In doing so, a small subset of cannabidiol (CBD) – a product derived from cannabis that has been promoted as non-intoxicating and has become trendy as a “wellness” product – has been legalized.

Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal law called the “Controlled Substances Act.” Even though there has been a recent wave of marijuana legalization at the state level, there has been no change to the federal law making marijuana illegal. 

This newly-signed law creates a small exception for hemp (with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of 0.3% or lower) to be grown without violating the Controlled Substances Act if the grower receives approval from a state, Indian tribe, or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and follows the applicable regulations.

However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not changed its position that CBD is not an approved food ingredient, food additive, or dietary supplement.  

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What Are You Going to Get Great at in 2019?

Corporate Support, New Year's resolutions, calendar year-end

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It’s the time of year for annual planning.  Whether you’re a sales manager or a corporate support rep, having a plan is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your team. What seems clear in today’s media environment is that we can’t enter any year with a business-as-usual approach.

I’ve had many conversations lately with Greater Public members who have shared news of unexpected attrition of longstanding accounts deciding to cut back or leave public media for now. We can’t take anything or anyone for granted. An annual plan needs to take an honest look at possibilities for growth in the face of a possible 25-35% attrition.

As a sales manager, new initiatives are a good place to start. What are you going to pursue? I’m sure the list of options is long, but it’s important to focus on just one or two things that will bring the most value to the station and your team.  

Create my operating plan for corporate support >>

My first year as a sales manager I was so energized and excited. I was going to change the world! I had a list of six or seven major initiatives to tackle. When I put them into my annual plan, my boss - the now famous Kirk Nelson - warned me that I was taking on WAY TOO MUCH! He forced me to prioritize by making me write out all the steps and a timeline for each thing I wanted to take on. That was an eye-opening experience that I have never forgotten.  

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Nurture Your Underwriting Client Relationships After the Close

sales strategy, Corporate Support, prospecting

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You’ve worked hard to sign up your new underwriter. You started with an initial meeting to learn about her challenges and objectives. Then you followed up with information how your media can provide a solution targeting her desired outcome. She liked your presentation and proposal; your answers to her questions, and she decided to become an underwriter.

What do you do now?

Believe it or not, the sale is not complete. The commitment is there but you’ve not yet started to deliver what she purchased. So, next up… 

Write up the underwriting agreement and have it signed and returned to you.

Corporate Support Administrative Templates

Draft the underwriting copy so it conveys her marketing message and complies with the FCC’s and your station’s copy guidelines. Once the copy is approved, send her a recording of the spot. Let her know she can share it with her employees and post it on her company’s website. 

Send her a schedule of times that her underwriting spots will air during the first week so she’ll know when to listen in to hear her spot.

After the contract is signed, the copy is produced and ready for airing, and you’ve sent her the list of when her spots will air during the first week you’re all done. Right?

There’s still more work to be done.

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How to Monetize Your Podcast With Grants

digital sponsorship, Corporate Support, philanthropy, podcast, foundation support

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It’s been said that we’re living in the Golden Age of Podcasting. This relatively new medium has exploded in popularity; those who listen are often super-fans. There’s a natural fit between corporate sponsorship and big-name podcasts like Serial and Death, Sex and Money. But for many of our smaller startups, securing podcast sponsorship is an absolute challenge.

If you haven’t yet grown your audience numbers to attract a business sponsor or your community just isn’t quite “podcast savvy,” there’s another funding option that might be perfect for you: securing grants.

The good news is that if you are a grant writer, getting a grant for a podcast is no different than getting one for any other project. And if you are in sales, making a case for funding to a foundation is much like making the pitch to a potential underwriter or sponsor, as long as you have honed your writing skills.

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