Media Buying Training

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This course is designed for corporate executives, marketing managers, political candidates, and small business owners who make media buying decisions.  Students will learn about media from a buyer's perspective. They will learn about media buying pitfalls so they can avoid purchasing errors. Participants will learn to differentiate between the numerous and often confusing media options. Students will also acquire the tools necessary to make wiser media buying decisions, which will lead to increased profitability for their organizations.

Topics include:

  • Analyze the major advertising media options
  • Determine how to target media to meet your advertising needs
  • Discover formulas to project advertising results in advance of the campaign
  • Review the New Media options
  • Master the five most important steps to successful advertising
  • Learn ten methods to sell to women
  • Discover the ten most common reasons why ads fail

Seminar Tips:

Cable Television Advertising


  • Effective to target audiences geographically
  • Ability to target upscale audiences
  • High frequency available


  • Spots are cheap but not inexpensive
  • Cannot reach a broad spectrum quickly
  • Risky for short-term campaigns

Additional Versions of Media Buying Seminar Available

Inside the Mind of a Media Buyer

This seminar was developed for show advertising sales reps how media buyers think.  It explores the problems and challenges that buyers and reps face in communicating with each other and working together.  The presenter, Randall Whatley answers questions reps often have about buyers.  How do they make decisions?  Why do they do some of the things that they do?  How can reps improve their relationships with buyers?  What goes on behind the scenes that reps don’t know about?  His always candid and often brutally honest viewpoints are both educational and entertaining.

Following is what past participants have said about this seminar:

  • "Thank you for a wonderful presentation at the HAB Conference."
  •  "Your handouts are very well done."
  •  "...Very balanced, mature, presentation"
  •  "...Great examples and information...great perspective...great speaker"
  •  "I would like to see more on this subject, as it’s such a gray area."
  •  "Great job!"
  •  "...Very informative.  I am new in radio sales, and I will leave with the confidence and knowledge that I did not have before!  Thank you very much."


Randall P. Whatley is president of Cypress Media Group, an Atlanta-based advertising, public relations, and training firm.  Whatley has been a media buyer for 33 years.  He has bought media in over 200 U.S. markets for a wide array of clients.  After two decades of media buying, Whatley has developed unique insights into the media buyer/station rep relationship.

The presenter’s perspective was formed by the following experiences:

  • Buying media for his own ad agency and PR firm for 33 years
  • Hosting and selling air-time for his own radio show for two and a half years
  • Producing, marketing, and selling air-time for his own television special
  • Buying media to advertise his company’s products and services
  • Serving as a media buying consultant to other advertising agencies and marketing firms

The format of this seminar is one of open discussion.  It is intended to be a dialogue between the presenter and the audience.  Participants are encouraged to express their opinions and share their experiences about the topics discussed.  If participants disagree with the presenter, they are encouraged to speak up so that the audience will have the benefit of hearing different viewpoints.  If participants have personal experiences that either reinforce or conflict with the viewpoints expressed, they are encouraged to articulate them.

Questions answered in “Inside the Mind of a Media Buyer” include:

  • How do buyers plan for a buy (e.g., which medium to use, how to determine market CPPs, GRP levels, dayparts, do you get feedback from the client on any audience psychographics or specific programs to buy)?
  • How do you improve a relationship with a buyer who is out of town or out of state or with whom you have limited access?
  • How often does the client know what was sent to the buyer for consideration?
  • What turns off a buyer from a radio/TV rep?
  • How do you convince a buyer that a unique station, (i.e., sports station) is a good investment when most of the major sports seasons are outside the book and the numbers are not reflected?
  • How do I get my "unfair" share of a buy?Is it relationships or numbers, or a combination of both?
  • How do reps get media buyers to consider other things except cost-per-point or cost-per-thousand?
  • Why won't buyers consider a 3-4 book average in smaller (1-2) book markets in order to take out the peaks and valleys from under-sampling?
  • Why don't buyers keep the client's needs and goals in mind when making a buy?
  • Why don't buyers prioritize the different factors that go into a buy and share this information will all of the reps?
  • How can buyers reconcile a station need-rate of "X" when competitors are willing to pay inflated rates over this amount to guarantee clearance?
  • How do buyers explain preemptions to a client?
  • Is there any difference between estimating and projecting off thousands as opposed to ratings?
  • How do reps deal with other reps that garner share at the expense of rate?
  • Do buyers get suspicious when a rep slashes rates to garner a larger budget share when they know that a high percentage of the schedule will be preempted?
  • Why do buyers withhold information regarding buys and only call back to tell you that your CPPs are too high?
  • How do buyers determine the point levels and frequency, and why do you predetermine them?
  • Why do buyers wait until the last minute to request information, expect you to fax rates that day, and then sit on the buy for three to four weeks?
  • What determines the best "deal" to a buyer?  Is it CPP? Value Added? "Most Creative Deal?"
  • Why don’t buyers take time to answer calls or have meetings with reps in order to find out about opportunities for their client?
  • Why are buyers unwilling to try something different, continuing year after year to do the same thing?
  • Why is it so difficult for buyers to "just say no" to media reps instead of stringing them along?
  • How do buyers feel about the "one-stop-shopping" approach?  Do they prefer to deal with fewer people in order to get information?  Would representing multiple stations make a buyer more willing to commit to a meeting?
  • Why does it appear that so many buyers are terribly inexperienced?
  • What can reps do to make the buying process more comfortable for the buyer?
  • What is the biggest mistake reps make when trying to get the attention of a buyer?
  • Are there "standards" among buyers that are fairly solid?
  • Is there a ratio or weighting of importance given to the various considerations in a buy (i.e., numbers against targeted demo, CPP, client preference, true "match" of format with product)?
  • How much difference can a rep’s style/behavior influence a buy?
  • Why can't reps have more access to AEs at agencies to get things like annual account goals or a general game plan?  Is this feasible?
  • How do you decide to buy sports/specials?
  • Pre/post selling - how important is it?  Do buyers have time for it?
  • How can reps be better at their jobs?
  • How do buyers perceive the different advertising mediums?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of various advertising mediums?
  • How viable are the “new” or alternative media options in comparison to the traditional advertising mediums?

Would you like to provide this training to your organization?  E-mail Randall Whatley at to discuss this training.

Online learning options for individuals

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Client Testimonials

"This is just a quick note to let you know how much I appreciated your seminar with MAB this year (2005). You started out by stating that we wouldn’t like everything we heard but needed to hear it. I have to say you were right. I didn’t like everything I heard, mostly because I broke almost every rule noted. However, I took notes and worked to apply the information and tips you so freely shared. To my delight the information you provided contributed to my largest annual sales contract to date! Thank you for being so open with us about what’s inside the mind of the media buyer."Maine Radio Account Executive

Schedule This Training

For groups of 3 or more participants

Cypress Media Group presents this seminar as an on-site offering at your work location or at an off-site location of your choice. We can customize this training program to suit your precise training needs.

For economic reasons, this seminar is only offered to groups of roughly three or more people with the same training needs. If you have a group with similar training needs, please call us at 770-640-9918 or E-mail to discuss your interest.

For fewer than 3 participants

We do not offer this course as an open enrollment public offering for individuals. If you have fewer than three participants who are interested in this course, the cost will be the same as for a larger group.

Please call us at 770-640-9918 or E-mail to discuss your interest.

About the Instructor

Randall P. Whatley

Randall P. Whatley is a 30-year media veteran with diverse business experience. He is president of Cypress Media Group, an advertising, public relations, and training firm. He has extensive experience advising government officials, political candidates, public officials, and corporate executives.

Whatley teaches the practical, real-world skills that he has acquired and refined over three decades as an advertising and public relations practitioner. His presentation and media relations skills were honed as a lobbyist and political consultant on over 50 campaigns in four states. He has written two books, two syndicated newspaper columns, and many magazine and Internet articles. He has also hosted his own television and radio program and appeared often as a TV and radio program guest, including a CNN appearance. Whatley has also produced TV and radio ads.

Randall P. Whatley teaches the following courses to companies and government agencies worldwide:

He can be reached by e-mail at

Connect to him on Linkedin