March 28, 2024

In the last “Play to Your Strengths: Offering Great Marketing Value to Sponsors,” we discussed Nielsen Media Impact’s projection that a 30-second $7 million Super Bowl ad could have been turned into a smaller $6.47 million national radio campaign that would connect with 155.6 million Americans (around 56% of the nation’s population) each month for three months, delivering better frequency and brand retention. Also, we featured three corporate support representatives from stations of different market sizes who shared what they were leading with right now in their prospecting work. 

In this “Play to Your Strengths” we’ll look at selling to the professional services business category or brand marketing on public media. Professional services or brand marketing has always been a favorite category to work in corporate support, demonstrating success with longer annual contracts, plus they tend to be recession proof.

On February 22, 2024 “Inside Audio Marketing” reported that according to Scarborough, AM/FM radio reaches 85% of all business decision-makers weekly, well ahead of cable or broadcast TV (64% and 63%, respectively), podcasts (38%) or newspapers (20%). Furthermore, radio reaches more than four in five (84-86% of) business decision-makers working in management positions, or who purchase information technology, business travel or convention arrangements, overnight delivery services, or office equipment and supplies. 

Dale Harrison, commercial strategist and marketing effectiveness consultant of Inforda Life Sciences says in a recent Linkedin post that “most current-period B2B marketing efforts will take several quarters before full revenue recognition.” He urges B2B brands to focus on future buyers and “being known before they are needed” by building brand awareness, recall, and trust among out-of-market consumers so when an “urgent high-value need” emerges, they are the brand that comes to mind.

Where better to build brand awareness, recall and trust than public media?

Public media works well for professional services and other businesses selling B2B services.

Three more successful corporate support representatives from small, medium and large markets share these ideas for how to reach out to professional service companies:

Small Market: Edmundo Resendez, KRWG, New Mexico

Edmundo Resendez is the Director of Development at KRWG Public Media, a PBS, NPR and local news source in Las Cruces, NM. He has been at this position for almost six years. Edmundo has also worked in radio, digital and print advertising sales. 

I asked him how he approaches professional service companies like law firms and others. Edmundo says he begins by looking for a prospect who needs the public media audience after studying how the prospect is currently marketing with commercial media. If he sees they have purchased a one-page print ad, he shares that they could have a three-month schedule during Morning Edition with what the print ad costs and it would give them much needed brand frequency. He emphasizes that for brand marketing to work, potential customers need to hear the professional service’s message repeatedly to create top-of-mind awareness. He reminds them that “Radio is the last message you hear before walking into a business from your car;” KRWG will accomplish better reach and frequency leading up to a purchase. And, during this election season, KRWG is a great alternative to commercial media’s over-saturation of political advertising.

Medium Market: Mary Doscher, WGCU, Ft. Myers, FL

Mary Doscher is the Sponsorship Representative for WGCU – PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida. Mary has been in this position for 2 ½ years. Before this she represented PBS in West Palm Beach for 10 years.

Mary begins her discussion with professional service prospects such as wealth management with a comprehensive overview of their Southwest Florida area demographics. It’s the #3-fastest-growing market in the country, the #2 market for millionaires, and the #1 emerging market for lifestyle metrics, including economic vitality and growth. She segues from this market data to how well WGCU reaches this demographic with their large and loyal audience. NPR is one of the most trusted platforms in America. Due to the “Halo Effect,” listeners and viewers know that sponsors who support their favorite public media stations “must be a good company.” She adds that the sponsor is getting a largely unduplicated reach with commercial stations, which delivers greater ROI.

Large Market: Jeanne Turbow, KCRW, Santa Monica, CA

Jeanne Turbow has been a Senior Account Director at KCRW (NPR News and AAA) for two years. Before this she was in national ad sales for IHeart for ten years and worked for Disney Radio. While at IHeart, she and some of her IHeart friends sometimes worked the phone banks for KCRW’s on-air drives because it was their favorite station, so it was a natural shift for her to begin representing KCRW.

Jeanne says that she researches prospects’ websites and social media to look for something personal she can connect with. For instance, she shared her own connection to a prospect’s mission along with a relevant quote from an Emmy-Award acceptance speech in this email to the prospect, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance:

As an owner of two rescue dogs and one cat that I would pretty much do anything for, I appreciate Healthy Paws Pet Insurance’s mission and core values. I loved Lee Sun Jin’s acceptance speech at the Emmys on Monday where he mentioned his three dogs and asked the FDA to fast track the canine anti-aging pill!! While that may be a pipe dream (for now)…I know there are other things we can do to help keep our dogs and cats healthy and providing them with the best vet care is at the top of that list!

She believes connecting the dots between KCRW’s mission and values with a prospect’s mission and values is key to a long-term and successful partnership. 

Another example of connecting a healthcare sponsor to KCRW is in this email she wrote to another prospect, Westside DBT:

KCRW has had tremendous success with healthcare initiatives. Mental health is discussed frequently on our various programs. “The Daily” (M-F 1-130 p.m.) just had a program on August 30th titled, “Inside the Adolescent Mental Health Crisis.” They discussed DBT on the episode. Let me know if you have time to discuss your marketing plans for the remainder of 2022 and 2023. There has been a 60% increase in adolescent depressive episodes since 2007. I truly believe KCRW would be an excellent partner for Westside DBT. 

She also likes to find companies that are headquartered in their area so she can bring them into a station event to strengthen their relationship and let them witness the power of public media.

Finally, Jeanne believes in building and connecting from the shared values of bridging communities in Southern California with the sponsor’s support of their community.

Thank you to these three markets for sharing how they prospect professional services. Greater Public members can find more tools for corporate support prospecting using our RAB Tools to Support Sales Planning and Prospecting.