Six Things I’ve Learned In Advertising This Month

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Feb 9, 2009 in Advertising, CM Life

I’ve been working at CM Life as an account executive for almost a month now. Even in this short amount of time, I’ve learned a lot.

  1. Cold calls. You’ll have the good, the bad and the worse. I made a few cold calls last Friday. One place said they were interested in advertising and I set up a time to go in. The next place said the person I could talk to was out, so I left a message and sent a fax with the information. Another place wasn’t sold on advertising, but was nice enough to humor me through my pitch and let me stop by with information. The last place I called said no. Don’t let the no’s get you down.
  2. Appearance matters. Most days I head to class and work with my boots on (even when wearing my dress pants since I have classes on opposite sides of campus). The boots are warm and they keep the snow out of my shoes. But, I keep two pairs of nice heels in my back seat and put them on before seeing the clients who I know will judge me by my shoes (like that really expensive salon!).
  3. Yes versus no. It’s harder for people to say no or treat you rudely in person. Whenever possible, I like to meet with clients in person as soon as possible. Which leads me to the next point…
  4. Building relationships. My job isn’t about selling. It’s about the relationships I build. If they don’t like me, they aren’t going to buy from me. It’s a college town and they will still get business even if they don’t advertise.
  5. Phone skills are important. Before this job, my phone skills were decent. Now, I am in the habit of answering the phone with “Hello, this is Rachel.” I also take interest in others and ask people how they are doing (refer back to No. 4).

Another point I’d like to make is that you should be nice (or at least decent) to telephone sales pitches. Before this job, I would just hang up on them. Now, I let them do their pitch and let them down easily by explaining that I just don’t have the money.

I now know how it feels to be treated rudely on the phone. I am the one, of course, who had a person listen to me say “I’m from CM Life” and then she started saying, “No English! No English!”

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How working in advertising can help a PR career

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Jan 5, 2009 in Advertising, Career, CM Life, Public Relations

Today was my first day as an account executive at CM Life. It was overwhelming at first. I started cold-calling from my list of assigned clients. A few wanted to talk to me, some didn’t seem to care and one pretended not to speak English.

But I already see how being an advertising representative can help me in my public relations career. Below are five ways working in advertising helps a career in public relations.

1. Cold-calling clients will prepare you for cold-calling reporters. Some automatically tried to turn me away without listening and some were actually be interested.

2. The pitch needs be be well-tailored. Why should a business run an ad? Why should a reporter write a story?

3. Stay positive. Just because the first ten clients (or reporters) turn you down, it doesn’t mean you don’t have something good. Refer to number 2.

4. Make it easy. I’ve pulled ads that have already been run and calculated the pricing for my meetings with clients because I want to make getting an ad easy for them. Using press releases, fact sheets and reliable sources, you can make writing a story easier for a reporter.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. The people who are working beside you were new once too. They probably asked the same questions you want to ask them and they are very willing to answer them for you.

For those of you who have worked in advertising, how has it helped your career?

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Advertising 2.Oh – Part 3

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Dec 24, 2008 in Advertising, Blogging, Branding, business

Over the next several weeks, I will be posting some content from my previous other PR blog. This was originally posted on March 26, 2008. Advertising 2.Oh! is a three-part series. Read part one here and part two here.

Steve Lance discussed the paths to engagement. The first one was “branded cinema.” Tom Hanks was the primary example. The movie, You’ve Got Mail, was essentially a long infomercial for AOL. It is the same for his other movie, Cast Away. The two brands involved were FedEx and Wilson.

Then there are “branded books.” The main point with these is they are all done from a different point of view. You don’t know if the CEO of the company actually wrote it, or the publisher just had someone write it and slapped his name and face on the cover.

Next were “blogs and search.” There is a blog called the Huffington Post and it had written something about John McCain and his “bomb Iran” song. the thing with this clip is that it will never go away.

Then there was “community.” There was a printer who had a strange YouTube video called “Printing’s Alive.” But it had 113,000 hits the last time Lance checked. Where else can a printing business get that much free publicity?

“Branded remix” relates to music. The example was the Starburst berries & creme ad. It was remixed from its original footage and had received over 1.6 million hits. So here’s something not even done by Starburst, yet ended up promoting it still.

Actual commercial: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYX_zhlTDr8&hl=en]
Remix commercial: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hWsmm4E5RE&hl=en]

With “on demand,” people come for information. His example was a local tax attorney who wanted younger clients to attract his own son into taking over the firm. They ended up setting up a beta site called “You’re on your own now,” offering financial advice. They got a sponsorship from a bank and also got the audio versions onto radio stations. The bank is happy because they get publicity, kids are happy for the advice, and the radio is happy for the content.

Last was “shopping.” The example given by Lance was AutoNation. The printer took over and manages the databases. From the database, they can send personalized reminders (and discounts) for oil changes, etc.

The last point he made was that branded content lowers the budget. If your content already contains your brand, then you spend less.

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Advertising 2.Oh! – Part 1

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Dec 12, 2008 in Advertising, Blogging, Branding, PRSSA, Public Relations, Social Media

Over the next several weeks, I will be posting some content from my previous other PR blog. This was originally posted on March 20, 2008. Advertising 2.Oh! is a three-part series.

Today I attended an event hosted by the White Pines Chapter of PRSA. It was called Advertising 2.Oh! Blogging, Vlogging, and Slogging Your Way Through The New Media Jungle presented by Steve Lance. He made a lot of great points and I learned a lot, even though I felt much of it was targeted more so to people in advertising rather than public relations. Click here to find out more out this Emmy Award winning speaker. I managed to take three pages of notes, which I will break up into three different blog posts.

Advertising 2.Oh! Recap #1

Lance said that television is no longer the dominant form of entertainment. He proved this point by asking how many people spent more time on the Internet than they did watching TV. The great majority of attendees did.

Another great point Lance made was if you manage your content, you control your brand’s destiny. His example of this was how Walt Disney had a two-hour premiere when Disneyland was first opening. Eventually, Disney “swallowed” the network (and bought it).

Another example that is more current would be Home Depot. They offer workshops, such as how to put in your own bathroom floor. These workshops are taped and offered to networks. The networks like these because they don’t have to pay for the workshops. Home Depot gets promoted so it’s great for business.

From what I understood, Home Depot also offered advertising time to their product’s companies (for example, if they did a workshop on flooring, Pergo could advertise its floor products). They also have the information on the Web site in the form of five minute vignettes (in print only). From these, they build cross-promotional platforms. One example given by Lance was having links to the vignettes on magazine Web sites in which they advertise in, such as home and garden sites.

Lance showed two models about advertising, content and messages. In the “old” model, the content is separate from the advertising. Now, in the “new” model, the message is the content. This means “total consumer engagement.”

He also emphasized that the consumer is at the center (this was shown in another model, in which ‘consumer’ was in the center circled and at each quarter outside of the circle was ‘positioning,’ ‘execution,’ ‘brand’ and ‘idea’). The brand is no longer at the center as it was before, according to Lance.

Check back soon for Advertising 2.Oh! Recap #2

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