Great Ideas


Give credit where it’s due: It’s every media AE’s nightmare: Return to the office after closing a long-sought sale only to find the credit department has turned down the deal because the client doesn’t meet credit requirements. The push-and-pull between sales and credit is a decades-old TV industry dynamic, but there are ways to foster a more productive relationship, says media credit veteran Thomas Even. The former director of credit and collections for radio broadcaster Radio One now advises media outlets on managing credit operations. He appeared at a recent Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association seminar to impress upon attendees the value of walking in the other guy’s shoes. One idea: Enlist AEs to man the phones for half a day, making collections calls to past-due accounts. On the flip-side: instruct credit managers to go out on sales calls with AEs to better understand the pressures salespeople face. Both tactics help to overcome tensions and miscommunication between the departments. By seeing exactly what the other side goes through, “We learn a much greater appreciation for each other,” he says.

Offer something special: Nothing proves the value of a local cable ad campaign like a cash register that rings. But when it does, how do advertisers know the ad campaign that made it happen? One independent entrepreneur suggests weaving into a flight of local cable commercials a specific offer that appears only within the spots. Chicago retailer Brad Kriser, who runs a pair of pet-care facilities, embedded into his debut local-cable campaign a $40 discount for customers that boarded their animals. That way, he could track references to the offer when customers called to request space. The campaign, which was produced by the Internet ad agency Spot Runner, ran on daytime avails of Animal Planet and other networks delivered by Comcast of Chicago. Kriser said the effort generated “astonishing results,” thanks in part to a strong offer. He’s following up later this year with a second local-cable campaign.