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Media Planning

Print Media

Finding ad rates for print magazines and newspapers is relatively easy for many publications. Many magazines and newspapers will post their advertising rates, known as rate cards, on their websites. To find this information on the web simply search the words "media kit" or "advertising rates" with the name of the publication. These rates are a starting point, but there is usually some negotiating done in real life

Print advertising rates are generally determined by size, placement and color. Here's a good overview of how to read a typical rate card: 

For more, see sections on Consumer Magazines and Newspapers

Broadcast Media

For TV and radio, ad rates are not so easy to come by.  Because there are simply too many variables, broadcast ad rates are always negotiated.  Here are some of the variables:

  • Time of day (daypart)

  • Length of spot

  • Number of repetitions

  • Size of the expected viewing/listening audience

  • Local vs. national audience

  • How close to airing time the purchase is negotiated

Estimating broadcast ad rates:

To get an idea of the likely range for broadcast media ad rates, a rough calculation you can use is this:

Estimated ad rate = cost-per-rating-point X audience measurement rating


For TV, the audience measurement rating is the Nielsen rating; for radio, it's the Arbitron rating.  So that presents you with two new quests:  finding the CPP (cost-per-rating-point), and finding the audience measurement rating.  

See the sections on Radio and Television for more information on this topic

Digital / Mobile

Online advertising is significantly more dynamic than than traditional advertising. Online advertising allows for greater precision in message and more targeted reach. Most businesses structure and pay for online ads in one of two ways: pay-per-click advertising or fixed rate advertising.

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) is paying for an ad based solely on the amount of clicks it gets. A business can post multiple versions of the same ad and quickly see which gets the most clicks and make changes as needed. This is effective for those with a strict budget, as spending limits can be preset.
  • Fixed Rate is when businesses pay a set price for ads up front, and is used often on content-focused sites where the target audience is likely already there.
  • In both cases, the ‘click’ goes to the business’s homepage or a content-specific landing page.

Many business also choose to use an online Advertising Network, which is a company that connects businesses to demographically targeted collections of online or mobile sites. 

There are a myriad of other payment structures, however. Get to know these terms: CPM, CPI, CPV, CPA

Fore more information on this topic see the Digital / Mobile section of this guide. 



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