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Turned on its head

Published: Jul 28 , 2020
Author: Nicki Steers

I joined the print media industry back in the days where the sales team simply took orders for ad space and collected the dollars. It was the early days of online news, so the revenue from print subscriptions was high and strong. Combined, advertising and subscription revenue kept hitting and exceeding targets year after year.

Back in those days (which wasn’t actually that long ago) you could say that the ‘balance of power’ was with the media owners. There was only so much space in the printed products on offer. Supply was short, demand for space was high, which led to premium prices for that precious ad space.

Advertising Agencies, the middleman between client and media, were remiss if they offered a client a media plan that did not include print. It was well known that print was the medium that reached not only the most people, but a quality, high-value audience.

In the 15+ years that I worked in media this scenario has been completely turned on its head. Aside from the fact that the sales team are now ‘media specialists’, there is a need and an expectation that those representing media companies (be that print, digital, radio, social, outdoor, cinema, mobile and more) will bring more than ‘ad space’ to the table.

Now, more than ever (yes, in this Covid-19 time), the ability to understand your businesses strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, and your clients’ needs and objectives is critical in whether the deal is sealed or not.

No longer is it a case of taking an order and sending a bill in the media industry. Those Media Specialists need to enter into negotiations, make proposals, re-package their proposals (until they get it right) and, most importantly, trade with their client to achieve that all-important win-win deal.

In short, these Media Specialists need to be their company’s best negotiators to ensure the long-term success of their industry.

Scotwork can teach your people to negotiate equally well upright or when their world gets turned on its head. Contact:, P: 04 2979069


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