A Guide to Buying Airtime

If you’re placing ads on a few radio or TV stations in your hometown market, you can probably handle the task on your own. But if your marketing reaches into multiple areas or if you’re spending more than $10,000 on your media schedule, use a media buyer to wheel, deal, apply clout, and bring the kind of muscle that comes from experience in the field. (See Chapter 9 for help choosing and hiring professionals.) You’ll pay an hourly fee or a percentage of your overall buy, but you’ll save time and confusion, and you’ll almost certainly obtain a better schedule and price. If you use an advertising agency to create your ad, media planning and buying is usually part of the service.

If you’re doing it yourself, begin by requesting a rate kit from each station you believe will reach your target market. The rate kit contains the following:

check.png Audited research data, including statistical profiles of the age, gender, and consumer-buying patterns of the station’s audience

check.png Descriptions of network affiliations

check.png Summaries of advertising success stories

check.png Sample advertising packages ...

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