By Shawn Kelly

You and the account executive have worked hard for a month trying to get a client on the air. The client was given concert tickets, T-shirts and CDs. What else did you leave behind? A signed contract and his commercial on a cassette? Was the client left with the feeling of how tangible radio is? Let your client see the services of radio.

The Cassette: Don’t give the client a cassette that has a hand written label. Buy a label maker and a box of audiocassette labels. Put your logo and the client’s logo on the cassette and place it in a clear plastic cover. This gives you a professional look.

The Hard Copy: Make sure your script is printed with your station logo and the client’s logo on the top of the page. Since the client can’t see what the spot will sound like from the script (yes, I said see what the spot will sound like because we have to make the listener see the commercial), we must give him something to look at besides words.

Digitize:  A digital camera can do wonders for a proposal, and you can buy a decent digital camera for around $200. When you first drop in to introduce yourself to a client, snap a picture of the storefront as you leave. When you go back to create the proposal, place the picture of the store on the front page. If you’re proposing a remote, you could have pictures of his store with some banners pasted throughout the store so the advertiser can preview what his investment will look like.

Calendar: Have someone who knows desktop publishing make a calendar for the client. Not a broadcast calendar, but a yearly calendar. This calendar will feature the client’s commercial schedule, pictures of the client’s store, and of course, every month should have the station logo. This will make the client think of your station every time they look at the date. You must print this on card stock paper using a color printer. You can buy a color printer for under $200.

Disk It: With the price of scanners and digital cameras dropping, you can get both for under $400. Add a color printer and it’s under $600. This is a must for “leave behinds.” Every contract, every proposal, every piece of copy and jotted note can be place on a single floppy disk. All you have to do is scan it and he has it! The client will appreciate what has been done. You have made his life a bit easier because he no longer has to search through files for paper. If he happens to lose his disk, you can get him another in no time.

CD: If you have a CD burner you can place the clients commercial and his paper work on the CD.

By doing these things, you have made radio a little more tangible. One of the biggest walls an account executive has to break down is the feeling that radio is not tangible. It is. It has to be. If it weren’t, it wouldn’t work. And we all know radio works. Help your account executives out by making radio more tangible for them to sell. They will thank you, and you will have come one step closer to tearing down the sheet between Sales and Programming.

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