When the Media General-owned Richmond Media Group originally set out to create a political media kit for the 2012 elections, they had a number of key objectives:
a. To make a clear case
b. To make it simple to buy
c. To position competitively to take advantage of times when broadcast is over-sold and over-priced
d. To take advantage of price and timeliness issues at the U.S. Post Office
As the dominant web site in the area, and with dollars shifting online, the team, led by John W. Kelly, VP, Revenue and Business Development, also knew they would need to leverage digital.
Their top notch political media kit secured a home run; by the end of the first quarter they were already selling with the kit and had booked $200,000 ( (see our 2012 review of the kit and strategy here).
The 2014 political media kit is almost identical.
It exemplifies how packaging can streamline the buying process, and beef up digital and premium products, and add a number of "last second" options using online inventory tailored to geo-target voters in specific areas. Here's are the key factors that make this kit a stand-out that lands top dollars:
1. Solid competitive position statements
Print has a good story to tell and this kit starts out with five key competitive advantages, beginning with the fact that the Times-Dispatch reaches two out of three registered voters.
Direct comparisons with television help make the case.
2. Simple colorful presentation of a la carte options and daily rates instead of CPM only
Rather than a jumble of options, each option has it's own page with a visual component (what the advertiser gets shown in red) and one clear price.
3. Premium digital buys such as eblasts and corner peels
Political advertising takes place in a relatively condensed period of time where campaigns need to 'stand-out' amid all the other noise. This kit is heavy on premium digital buys such as corner peels and eblasts.
4. Print-only premium buys
The kit includes a number of premium options exclusive to newspapers, including Spadea wraps, glossy inserts, home pages ads and post-it notes among the a la carte options.
5. Simplified packages that are easy to buy
This kit tackles overly complex newspaper rates and packages up modular spaces with online display and premium options. The design is clean with a lot of white space and one page to a package (see image to the right).
Packages start with small, medium, large and premium, from $2990 to $23,000:
- 25,000 full color adhesive notes
- One day of post-it notes
- One 1/8 page ad
- Front page strip ad 4 x
- 25,000 glossy inserts
- 100,000 ROS impressions
- Two front page strip ads and two 1/2 page ads
- 200,000 ROS impressions
- 100,000 mobile impressions
- One weekday Spadea wrap
- 300,000 ROS impressions
- 2 days of corner peels
- 150,000 mobile impressions
6. Three additional packages designed for last minute buys for local races
State, Mayor's office and Townhall packages bundle online display ads with a range from $5400 to $9000. These online display packages are intended for last minute buys - they can be purchased by the day and uploaded on the the site quickly. Different media properties can pre-packaged according to geographical appropriateness. Mobile and desk-top separated; with mobile at significantly higher price, and room for a combo desk-top mobile discount.
Town Hall packages - the smallest of the three -includes the option for front page take over, a smart way to rev up the impact and direct response of a small spend by concentrating it into premium buys on key days.
Click on this link to see the full kit.
The software used is Flipsnac.
This kit also got a thumbs up from political media consultant John Kimball, of the John Kimball Group: "This is representative of the efforts the industry has made to become much easier to buy so that political advertisers can see quickly what is available and execute the buy seamlessly.
"The variety of product offerings – print, web, video, inserts, front page post-it-notes, etc. are all great examples of the industry creating value for candidates and campaigns."
Finally, the most important strategic advantage Richmond Times-Herald has over prior years is an start early. Establishing contact with all races helps by letting political marketers know what their options will be and who to call when they need last minute help.
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