How to Develop Contacts through Advertising

Two Methods:Planning an Advertising NetworkDeveloping Advertising Relationships

Developing advertising contacts is an essential part of being a successful marketer or advertiser. Forming relationships with advertising channels allows you to get the best prices, more flexibility and occasionally free advertising. It will also give you an advantage over your competitors. As soon as you enter into the business world, you should begin gathering and communicating with potential advertising contacts. After a few years of navigating the business world, the process of planning, booking and creating successful advertising should become easier. Learn how to develop contacts through advertising.

Method 1
Planning an Advertising Network

  1. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 1
    Research your industry's usual advertising outlets. Look online, in journals, at conferences, in newspapers, on the radio and on TV to see where your competition has paid to advertise. If your competition advertises in specific places time after time, it is likely that they have contacts and success.
  2. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 2
    Make a spreadsheet of advertising venues and their contacts. Although you may directly ask for advertising contacts, important advertising information may come through conversations with executives, newspaper articles and more. It is important to jot down any information that might help you build an advertising network as you hear it.
    • Include paid advertising sources, like advertising sales representatives at national, state and city media outlets.
    • Include free advertising sources, like editors, reporters, talk radio hosts, bloggers and more. Keep a list of people to whom you can send press releases, photographs and headlines. These contacts will pick up your story more easily after developing a relationship with them.
  3. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 3
    Make your first contact with a potential advertising contact personal. A great way to accelerate the relationship process is to get to know someone face to face, or by telephone through a personal connection. The following are ways to strike up a personal introduction:
    • Ask your predecessor to introduce you. As part of your training, you should set up meetings with a senior employee who has handled advertising in the past. Do conference calls or meetings in order to establish a personal rapport and let the person know you are handling advertising from now on.
    • Call your school's alumni office. Request a list of alumni contacts who work in the media. Most of these people have already said they would be willing to speak to other alumni. Call or visit these people at newspapers, TV stations, social media sites, conferences, national organizations and more.
    • Attend conferences or seminars about your industry. Ask advice from other professionals, or seek out media contacts who are there to do stories or present.
    • Attend events that are held by advertising agencies in the area. These agencies may be able to bid on projects in the future. They often hold networking events to get more clients.
  4. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 4
    Plan a party and invite potential media contacts. If you have an opening, a promotion or even a company cocktail hour, you can invite editors, ad sales people, possible sponsorship organizers and more to attend. This casual business atmosphere is good for both talking about personal and professional topics, allowing you to maximize your networking efforts and put a face to a name.
  5. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 5
    Become active in your local Chamber of Commerce or professional organization. Pay to be a member and go to the meetings. Focus on having sincere face to face conversations with as many business people as possible, and your list of advertising contacts, as well as general business contacts, will grow.
  6. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 6
    Volunteer to help organize seminars or conferences. If your company, professional organization or Chamber of Commerce needs help with their planning committee or event staff, this is a great way to meet advertising contacts. They will contact you for information and you can strike up a professional relationship.
  7. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 7
    Give business cards to new contacts. Many people hold on to business cards. Keep any business cards you receive and refer back to them occasionally when you are interested in trying new advertising avenues.

Method 2
Developing Advertising Relationships

  1. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 8
    Buy advertising from your contact. One of the best ways to get to know an organization is to become their customer. Advertisers often get preferential treatment for story ideas, event listings and special features.
  2. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 9
    Invite important contacts to a business dinner or outside events. A little bit of charm and gift giving can help you develop a friendly professional relationship. If you have a free sample of your product, offer products to use as a contest for the media outlet or send it directly to the person you want to develop a relationship with.
    • Business gifts must walk a fine line. Don't give bribes or be insincere. However, it is possible to build rapport by providing the media person with an incentive to get to know you away from the office.
  3. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 10
    Ask for the advertising contacts to come to you with sales and specials. Once you have a few conversations, you must take the initiative to ask for preferential treatment. Try to become the first place they go when there is an opportunity for a discount, a sponsorship or prime ad placement.
  4. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 11
    Get to know the secretaries and assistants at advertising agencies and media outlets. These people are the gatekeepers of a lot of important information. Have a chat with them at least every 6 months, and ask if anything is new at the company and whether they recommend you contact a particular person.
  5. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 12
    Send holiday cards and occasional emails to your contacts. Call them up to check in and see what they are offering. Relationships must have regular updating to be very useful.
  6. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 13
    Try cross-promotion. This is a great way to develop a durable, mutually-beneficial relationship. Consider affiliate marketing, cooperative direct mail, distribution or referrals.
  7. Image titled Develop Contacts through Advertising Step 14
    Update your contact list and spreadsheet regularly. Store your advertising results on the list or nearby. Refer back to this list of people and past campaigns any time you start a new advertising plan.

Things You'll Need

  • Media research
  • Spreadsheet
  • Alumni office
  • Networking events
  • Seminars/conferences
  • Chamber of Commerce membership
  • Cross-promotion
  • Business cards

Article Info

Categories: Business | Marketing