Election year’s impact on media spend
On January 1, 2012, we didn't just celebrate the New Year. It marked the unofficial beginning of the political spending season. Pundits are projecting total political ad expenditures for presidential, congressional and state government elections to approach $6 billion, a staggering figure and far above 2008 levels, despite the fact that only the Republican Party will be holding primary elections.
One major difference impacting the 2012 political season is that much of this spending is not expected to come from politicians or parties. As a result of the landmark 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court ruling, third-party entities such as corporations, trade unions or political action committees can donate unrestricted funds.
So how does a savvy education marketer navigate this politically charged media landscape? Keep these three things in mind and the votes, err inquiries, will likely fall in your favor.
Do your homework
Be aware of what seats are open in your states/markets and which races are expected to be most competitive. Know when elections and political windows are scheduled.
Keep your ear to the ground
Stay in close contact with station representatives and set the expectation that you want to be apprised when conditions change in the market. Stay informed and be vigilant.
Be prepared with Plan B
If rate and preempt pressure intensify, be prepared with a Plan B to shift dollars throughout the TV buy or out of TV entirely. Don’t get stuck paying ineffective rates for spots simply because you have nowhere else to put the money.
The 2012 political season may wreck havoc on your TV viewing but it certainly doesn’t have to spell disaster for your marketing plan. Follow these three tips and you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way next year.