Our view is that media inquiries are some of the most important events in the day-to-day routine of Legend, Inc. They represent real opportunities for our clients and for us. So, even though we discourage nonproductive telephone, fax and e-mail inquiries, we still take our media relationships very seriously, and we will always respond if approached thoughtfully. Here is an outline of the best way to get our attention:
1. No unsolicited information. Send a thoughtful e-mail with your ideas on how your services could benefit our clients. DO NOT mail large packages of preprinted brochures, media kits, and pocket folders with innumerable inserts. DO NOT e-mail PDFs and other attachments. We know they save you time, but they are either thrown away without opening or, as a rule, our e-mail defense system strips them prior to the e-mail’s arrival in our database. This is also true of unsolicited faxes and voice mails, which all are part of our computer system as well.
We are much more interested in YOUR thoughts and ideas than in preprinted blurbs. Once we have you in our database, requested attachments will be accepted. But with over 2,000-plus combined incoming e-mails, phone calls, and faxes a day, all unsolicited documents are rejected by our filters.
2. Requested format. If you do not have a direct e-mail contact at legendinc.com, e-mail to: email@example.com and (if you use your own e-mail program rather than clicking on our link) include in the subject the words “Media inquiry” PLUS the name of the client you think your services would be good for. [EXAMPLE: “Media Inquiry for XYZ Corporation.”] Our filters will remove things like: “Checking in,” or “Have we got something for you.” Without a proper subject line your e-mail will be caught in the spam filter.
3. Wait to hear back from us. It could be a few days, but more than likely, it will be much quicker than you think.
4. Do not request meetings. If we feel a meeting is needed, we will request it. As a rule we do not do lunch. We do business the old- fashioned way: direct and on topic.
5. Business practices. All vendor services, including media, are selected on the basis of pricing or competitive bidding, so even if one of our clients referred or recommended you, vendors will still be selected in the protocols of our normal bidding procedures. Price is a factor. So is knowledge and experience, and service is very important. We work hard at being easy to deal with: We do everything electronically. We will be either using your FTP site or ours; all purchase orders and invoicing should be done via e-mail. Technologically savvy vendors have a stronger sales pitch with us.
We budget annually for all clients during, or just before, the fourth quarter, so if you are coming in mid-year, it can be tough. But, a thoughtful proposal, with introductory incentives (for the client) can make a difference. Comparative analysis of past schedules of competitors can also be very helpful. Editorial adjacencies or schedules can also be persuasive. In-depth circulation analysis, client specific, is also very good. But, your thoughtful email is the most important communication. Always include website addresses and indicate whether your prices are commissionable or not [indicating the net amount you will want is always a clarifying element]. Be sure to review client Internet sites for information to make your email accurate and realistic.
6. We are always happy to get to know new media. We use new media all the time. Annually, we deal with between 600 and 1,000 media and vendor resources for services. So, follow our procedures and we will have a mutual and productive relationship. Phone calls are only for our clients and for emergencies. We know you may have a list you are calling methodically, but if we are on your routine call list, take us off and follow the procedures above.
7. Once we initiate a relationship. Always remember that we are the agency for a disclosed client, and, as such, we act and purchase services on their behalf. All payment cycles are based on the client/agency relationship, not the media/agency relationship. Our invoices to clients are all due in 15 days of receipt. We disburse all media fees within a few days of being paid. So, depending on your billing cycle, you may have to wait more than a normal 30-day cycle. We work hard to avoid this, but it does happen. Media charges are billed to client from our insertion orders so this reduces the time to payment involved. Be sure to read and verify our insertion orders as soon as you get them, because once you sign off and send them back to us, there is no changing anything. At first, placements in this process may be a little different for you, but we have never lost a media relationship over payment issues.