To co-op or not to co-op? Some guidelines to help you answer the question.

A co-op, or cooperative SMT or cooperative news package combines complimentary clients, services or products within an interview segment or package that is then offered to stations for air. The appeal? You or your client can participate in a broadcast tactic for a fraction of the cost of your own segment or package. Based on our experience, a co-op may or may not deliver a strong result for you and/or the client.

For any co-op tour, we first consider client objectives. Boom Broadcast does not produce traditional “co-ops” for a number of reasons, the biggest being that we have not seen, in our 15+ years of experience in broadcast PR, that the co-op consistently delivers results to all participants. In addition, many stations are backing away from this format, as it tends to be overly commercial.

However, this strategy MIGHT be right for your objectives. Our approach is to evaluate the project, and if a co-op seems a fit, offer you guidance on getting the most out of it. Typically our best counsel is to consider what the objectives are for your client, and closely evaluate what broadcast tactic might deliver the same or greater value:

  • Is a visual key to your communication objective? If not, radio might deliver stronger ROI for the client.
  • What are your broadcast “assets”: a new product, existing visuals, an expert spokesperson, new study
  • Do you have any existing marketing partners that may benefit from combined messaging?
  • Do you have any existing marketing partners that may benefit from combined messaging?

If you do decide to participate in the co-op, here are a few considerations/guidelines to help you get the most from the tactic:

  • Find out how many participants there will be. If there are more than three participants/products you may get short-changed on your mention or your messaging.
  • Ask for a recent rundown. Most co-op producers either just do co- ops, or have a dedicated co-op team. Ask them for a recent report or rundown/schedule so you can see the caliber and number of stations your tour is likely to achieve.
  • Find out where in the interview your message/product will be mentioned. Often, an interview can be cut short and if you are at the end of the talking points you may be cut out altogether.
  • Confirm budget. Usually co-ops should be in the $9,000 range. Negotiate if it’s higher than that.
  • Get an interview flow up front. Ask the producer to provide a specific interview flow so you know going in exactly how the tour will flow, where your mention will come, what the call to action will be, and how many tips/items the spokesperson is covering.

Finally, there just might be broadcast alternatives that better fit the client’s objectives or budget. We might offer an approach you haven’t thought of and it may deliver a stronger impact for your client. Let us know if you’d like to talk in detail