Station Packages: To Buy or Not to Buy

by Darron McKnight | March 19, 2015

Part 2 of a multi-part series on “Going Behind the Media Curtain”

That station account executive that has been trying to get a call with you for weeks finally gets you on the phone. They have a sales pitch for you—“It’s a great deal, you want to be a part of this.” He is selling some type of bundle. It may include your logo on-screen during a newscast. Maybe there are promotional spots that will tie your brand in with a local charity. Maybe there are a few digital elements.

The station says it’s worth $20,000. What are you going to do?

Your next step should be to send it to your Media team—because we have a process for that. Any package that you or Client Services think is a good match for your brand will get reviewed for value by your Media team.

When we are asked to review a package, we start our process for determining media value. This process begins with your Buyer reaching out to Client Services to see if the package fits your brand. Once they confirm that it does, we start putting the puzzle together.

Your Buyer gathers the required information to estimate a value, including ratings, market pricing information, and more. Often, more specific information is needed from the station. Does that promo include any additional sponsors? Is that a billboard or a mention? What times will they run? This part of the process involves lots of back and forth with stations. We have to be sure that we have a full picture of what they are selling or we can’t accurately place a value on it.

Once we’ve gathered all the necessary information, it’s time to calculate a value. We factor in many variables, including air time for on-screen elements, viewership for these elements, what medium(s) they are using for the promotion, the effect of additional sponsors, and how much we would expect these elements to cost in your market. We summarize our findings and let you know how the value stacks up relative to the cost of the package—so data drives the decision.

Once we give you our recommendation, we have a few options on how to proceed. We can buy the package, further negotiate to make it more favorable, or decline it. Don’t feel the need to be the bad guy! Part of your Media Buyer’s job is to politely say no on your behalf.

Determining value, giving you a recommendation, and letting the station know your response—all part of what media is working on behind the curtain.