This has been an interesting and busy month at work. We got a new client in, of all places, Washington state, and he’s keeping us BUSY. For years this man managed a business in Chico that was and is still our client, so when he moved to Washington and bought a new business, he decided that we should do his advertising for him. So far it’s working out great.
But it’s always the little things you don’t think of that make new situations difficult.
First of all, the business is a car dealership, and they can keep you hopping. They find out about big promotions from their manufacturers sometimes only a matter of days before the promotions start, so all of the media buying, ad copywriting, talent coordination, video and audio taping, and editing are condensed into about, oh, seventeen minutes of work. My job is to log, type, copy, collate, fax and file the media orders, checking math, spelling, dates, times, names, etc. etc. etc. along the way. I can do it in my sleep in the Chico-Redding market, and speaking of sleep, I can hear you snoring out there (I don’t blame you). But now with a brand-new (to me) market of a size comparable to Chico-Redding, I have to learn a whole new batch of names and fax numbers.
I’m sure that sounds small, but it’s been a real headache to stay on top of. We’ve been getting an additional sizeable dollar figure to add to the mix every week -- YEAH BABY -- so those Washington stations are each getting multiple orders. So many budgets to keep track of. I’m only talking about orders, here -- I won’t even frighten you with discussions of traffic (which is the management nightmare of coordinating which ads run on which contracts and stations for how long). Think e-mails. Think Next-Day Air. Think faxes up the wazoo.
In this particular Washington market there are four radio station groups and three cable TV centers. Of the four radio reps, three were named Dave -- for about two weeks. Then one of the Daves got fired, and it’s a bit easier with only two Daves now.
In our market I have to remember only 7-digit phone and fax numbers, but in the Washington market everything is long-distance, 10-digit numbers, so I live and die by a phone sheet. I’m sure this sounds very petty to you, but if I screw up -- like I did yesterday, one time -- then a rep gets hold of his competitor’s order, and he can see
a) how much you’re spending with his competitor
b) how much more budget is available for him to wring his hands over, and
c) what other demographics you are buying which he could cover with his sister station KRAP FM, and havn’t you heard about KRAP FM? It’s hotter than hot! I’m waiting for the sales pitches to start pouring in, dammit.
So I was just hitting my stride with this new market when a stalwart of our local ad sales business (and legend in his own mind) Gus, my goofy buddy for some years now, quit his radio sales job of over a decade to move to a competitor’s radio group. His old group changed hands in December and there was a firing blood bath. While Gus didn’t get fired, he must not have liked his new world, so he left.
CRAP! I now have MORE media phone/fax lists to overhaul.
Yes, this is small, small, petty stuff, but everybody’s job is.
At least I no longer have three out of four radio reps named Dave.