You can have the most accurately estimated and most perfectly negotiated buy in history, but, if not stewarded, you aren’t going to get what you expect or what you are paid for.

  1. Communication—Open communication is necessary on all sides, between the agency and client, buyer and planner, buyer and station. Without communication your buys can get lost, which usually means forgotten.
  2. Awareness—Buyers need to be aware of all changes impacting performance: affiliations, programming schedules, available syndication, or even the anchors of the nightly news moving from one station to another. All of these can affect your buy, causing swings in ratings that could not have been predicted when the buy was originally placed.
  3. Recognition—Invoices come, and surprises come with them. Few schedules run perfectly. Unfortunately, with advanced software comes the ability to ‘force match’ buys to invoices, and with that, often no recognition of how askew the buy has become. When buys are matched to the exact buy parameters, all unexpected changes are disclosed.
  4. Response—Even if the buyer knows everything going on in the market and where all spots have fallen, if no action is taken on these items, the knowledge is for naught. Prompt and decisive responses to the buy as it airs can avert a poor post.
  5. Reporting—Not only an honest and accurate post report, but all the important items that come before it are part of reporting. A post report should not contain any surprises to a client. Any issues large enough to cause concern should be out in the open long before the post is presented, so corrections to the market can be made as soon as possible. There is no sense in waiting to fix a problem that can be fixed now.