We are now in, or rapidly approaching, political windows in many markets. Not only do we have politics to worry about, we have fall program changes and the launch of the CW and My Network TV replacing the WB and UPN stations. Right now it is important to make sure you are optimizing your budgets and not hesitant about moving dollars to more effective places. The logical place to look first is the Web. Your CPSs are typically lower there, and if you are not doing so already, you should capitalize on any opportunity for additional web-based leads and starts.
Newspaper does not typically see a decrease in results due to political advertising. Maximize the number of inserts you are dropping and add display and line ads to continue to see incremental increases in leads. Make sure you are contacting your old leads via phone, traditional mail and e-mail to remind them that you and the opportunity are still there. Reach out to new leads through the OutReach campaign, and generate new live-transfer leads through calling members of your demographic.
Some markets will be hit hard by political advertising — rates will increase and inventory will get tighter; others will not. It is important to have a plan for generating those leads instead of panicking if and when the issue arises. Bottom line — make sure you are reviewing your budgets monthly and optimizing them. Be aware of what is going on in your market and … adapt.