The Elephant-Sized Local Clients in the Room-How to Prospect Them

Let’s talk about potential elephant-sized local direct budgets from elephant-sized potential clients that virtually none of us are calling on in any meaningful way. I’m talking about big industrial/mining/manufacturing clients, some of the biggest employers in your market. While these big businesses may not necessarily be consumer-oriented, there are still many reasons they should be advertising on radio and television stations all year long. We just need to teach them how to use us. Here are some of the talking points you’ll need to turn some of these giant non-advertisers into regular clients on your stations.

1. Recruitment- Whether the company is currently hiring or not, they should always be searching for new resumes. It always looks good when big manufacturers recruit locally and of course, that’s where you come in. The recruitment commercials you produce can be very specific, identifying people with particular skills, talents or credentials. People who are already employed seldom look at want ads. But gainfully employed people listen to radio and watch television every day. Reach out to them on their broadcast medium of choice on a daily basis.

2. Publically Recognize Exemplary Employees- Just about any employee likes hearing about his or her company in a positive and public light. Your commercials do just that. Strengthen your client’s employer/employee relations by using local broadcast to publically thank workers and/or teams that have done an outstanding job.

3. Good Neighbors- Good neighbors communicate on a regular basis. Here is this big corporation’s opportunity to talk to the community directly and frequently about many issues, from neighborhood issues to safety to corporate expansion, to charitable endeavors. Giving back to the community is always better when people know that you’re giving back to the community. Why keep your good deeds secret, Mr. Client? The client may also use your station to publically thank local politicians for passing legislation, ordinances or for funding projects that the client feels benefits the community (or his company).

4. Publically Thank Public Officials- Your client can use his/her bully pulpit to publically thank national, state and local politicians for voting for initiating and completing public projects like highway overpasses, exits, parks, downtown renovation, public spaces, new schools, etc.

5. P.R./Control public dialog- By tethering to your station’s audience on a daily basis, your Big Client has a chance to constantly educate your audience and control public discourse on a wide range of subjects, including environmental topics to employment laws, taxation, zoning and other regulatory issues. The commercials give the listeners/viewers talking points that reflect the client’s position.

6. Insurance in the event of a local disaster- Should any local catastrophe involving your client occur in your local area the client already has the mechanism in place to reach out to the community with emergency telephone numbers or websites, along with any other information the client feels they must impart to listeners/viewers.

Keep in mind that what you think is an enormous budget may just be chicken feed to these big companies. Think big! Then all you have to do is manufacture a good plan and reach The Decision-Maker to pitch it. Not the marketing director, but the director of the plant.

In my experience marketing directors just get in the way. This is not an agency-type buy. This is a purely local direct idea. Marketing directors may see this as a load of extra work for them, so your proposal should indicate that the station is willing to do all of the work.

Use whatever clout you have to get an appointment with the Director of the operation. He or she will more likely “get it” and see the value in owning local mindshare. Getting in touch with the Big Kahuna at the plant is probably a job for general managers and/or station owners, as they are more likely to have access to the same country clubs, charitable boards or social environments as the prospect.