STRATEGIC MEDIA PLANNING
Journalism and Mass Communication 447
2195 Vilas Communication Hall
Tuesday/Thursday – 1:00 – 2:15
Dhavan Shah - Professor
Office: 5162 Vilas Communication Hall
Telephone: 262-0388 (Office) or 513-4224 (Mobile)
Office Hours: Tuesday: 10:00 – 12:00
This course provides an introduction to strategic media planning, the process used to place messages in media in order to reach particular audiences. We will consider the following areas:
• The challenges facing strategic communicators, specifically media planners, in an era of media fragmentation and proliferation and increased audience choice and control.
• The response of media planning professionals to these challenges in the form of integrated
marketing communication, connections planning, and marketing public relations.
• The basic mathematical concepts involved in media buying/planning, including the calculation of audience ratings, media share, reach and frequency, and gross rating points.
• The data sources used in media analysis, such as Simmons Market Research Bureau (SMRB), Mediamark Research Inc. (MRI), and Bureau of Advertising Research (BAR).
• The strengths and weaknesses of various media as message carriers, including newspapers,
magazines, television, radio, outdoor, telephone, and the Internet.
• The basic elements of an strategic media plan, including the advertising and media relations objectives, strategies, and tactics.
• The use of media planning software in the design of contemporary strategic media plans.
• The development of complete media plans for actual Fortune 500 clients.
This course is designed as a concepts/skills course; it will emphasize critical thinking regarding media planning for advertising, public relations, and health and political communication campaigns. To achieve these objectives, we will use a combination of lectures, lab sessions, readings, discussions, assignments, and computer simulations. Participation is the key to success in this
• For the student who is hoping to pursue Media Planning as a career, this course will serve as an
introduction to the process of critically evaluating media options, purchasing or placing strategic communications in media outlets, scheduling media weight in a manner that achieves communication goals, and evaluating the impact of media on audience members. This course will provide a simulation of how a strategic media plan in researched, conceived, and executed.
• For the student who is not planning on pursuing Media Planning as a career, this course will
serve as a foundation for understanding the role of media in the broader strategic communication landscape. The course will detail how account management, research and account planning, creative, database marketing, sale promotion, and, particularly, public relations relate to media planning.
Jack Z. Sissors and Roger Baron (2002). Advertising Media Planning, 6th edition. New York: thMcGraw-Hill. (5 edition is acceptable if you can find one at a good price).
Dennis Martin and Robert Coons (2002). Media Flight Plan IV. Provo, Utah: Deer Creek
Publishing. (This is a software program that you must purchase, Mac OS version preferred).
Clarke Caywood (ed) (1997). The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations and Integrated
Communications, New York: McGraw-Hill. (Readings are on Reserve in JRR)
Esther Thorson and Jeri Moore (eds.) (1996) Integrated Communication. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum (Readings are on Reserve in JRR)
• Students must notify the instructor within the first two weeks of class of any specific days that they will miss class for religious observance.
• If a student cannot compete an assignment or take an exam at the scheduled time,
arrangements must be made in advance with the instructor. Failure to do so will result in the reduction of one grade level (at a minimum) from the earned score. Exemptions may be made for unusual circumstances.
• Permission for a student to receive an incomplete grade (I) is at the discretion of the instructor and must be accompanied by a written contract for completion of course
requirements. Failure to take exams, complete assignments, or attend class is not acceptable reasons for an incomplete.
• This class will follow University and L&S guidelines concerning scholastic misconduct and grievance procedures.
• The course syllabus is available in alternative formats upon request. Please see the undergraduate advisor if you need an alternative format due to a disability.
Course Grade: The course grade will be based on four components:
In-class mid-term exam #1 (25%)
Take-home mid-term exam #2 (25%)
Final individual project (35%)
Class participation (15%)
• The midterm exams and final exam will account for 50% of your grade.
The first midterm exam will be given during class time and will cover course
material presented up to the date of the exam.
The second mid-term exam will be a take-home and will cover course material
presented after the first mid-term exam, though it will require a basic
understanding of concepts you encountered in the first five weeks.
Information presented in readings, workbooks, or lecture may appear on the exams.
• The final project requires each student to create a media plan for a specified product or
service. Each student will be assigned an existing product from a major product category
(e.g., BMW automobiles in the luxury car category). Other students in the class will be
assigned competing products (e.g., Mercedes Benz or Saab). A total of six or seven
product categories will be used, meaning that approximately four or five students will
compete against one another in each product category. Each student must engage in
primary and secondary research to understand the marketing problem, formulate clear
media objectives related to advertising and public relations, and determine core media
strategies and tactics. A computer simulation will be used to execute planning decisions
and determine costs. Specific processes will be discussed during the course. The project is
35% of your final grade
• The remaining 15% of your grade will be based on assignments and participation. A
willingness to express opinions, offer examples, or ask question will determine this part of
your grade. Absences and tardiness also will be reflected in this grade portion.
Basic Procedures for Final Project
Develop Situation Analysis
Marketing analysis (annual reports, news articles, government resources) Target Audience analysis (Simmons Market Research Bureau, Mediamark Research) Competitive analysis (Bureau of Advertising Research, Leading National Advertisers)
Define Media Objectives
Target audience – Define primary & secondary audiences
Seasonality – selling period and pre-promotion
Geography – regionality and DMA concentration
Plan Performance - Reach and Frequency - Effective Frequency Goals Scheduling Strategy – Flighting, Pulsing, or Continuity.
Determine Media Strategy
Media mix and vehicle selection for purchase (media buying) Media vehicles for press placements (public relations)
Attainment of performance objectives – Especially Effective Reach
CPMs and GRPs by medium for advertising; GRPs by medium for public relations
Detail Decisions in Media Flowchart
Detail monthly spending and media distribution of paid and unpaid media
Assembling the Elements of the Plan
1) Executive summary of the media plan.
2) Marketing objectives and strategies that relate to media.
3) Copy strategy statement -- how media supports copy.
4) Competitive Media Expenditures Analysis
5) Clearly stated media objectives that are tied to marketing strategies and objectives.
6) Clearly stated media strategies tied to the media objectives.
7) Media plan details and documentation.
• Criteria for determining media values.
• Data showing monthly reach and frequency
• Data showing effective reach levels
• Detailed account of selected media classes, or subclasses, including CPMs
• Yearly flowchart for national and spot
You will received a media plan checklist and an the annotated media plan, for additional
details and guidance about how to prepare your plans.
Advertising World: a site sponsored by the University of Texas-Austin’s advertising department.
Simply, the most extensive collection of advertising related links on the web. Special section on media buying and planning and interactive marketing.
American Marketing Association: The AMA is one of the largest professional
associations for marketers, with over 38,000 members. This site is an essential resource, providing relevant information. Look under “marketing tools and templates.”.
Newsweek Media Research Index: a site containing a bibliography of over 700 studies, journal articles, conference papers, and books on media research. Substantially cross-referenced.
U.S. Census: a site permitting access to Census data on the U.S. population. Alphabetized directory for easy access into a wide-ranging resource. This one is very helpful!
Advertising Age: the website for the leading advertising industry magazine. Critical reading for anyone serious about a career in advertising and marketing.
Brand Week: another website for a leading industry magazine. Tracks brands and branding efforts through a marketing lens. Particularly helpful to aspiring brand managers.
Brand Week: another website for a leading industry magazine. Tracks trends in the media marketplace and media vehicles performance. Particularly helpful to aspiring media planners.
Course Schedule -- Readings, Assignments, and Exams
9/5 Introduction To Media Planning: Overview of Course
9/7 Era of Choice: Changes in Demographics, Technologies, and Economics
9/12 Era of Choice: Media Responses to Diminished Effectiveness
th Chapter 3 (Chapter 4 in 5 ed.)
9/14 Integrated Marketing Communications and Connections Planning
“The Concept, Process, and Evolution of Integrated Marketing Communication,”
Thomas Duncun and Clarke Caywood, in Thorson and Moore.
“How Leading Advertising Agency Media Directors View Integrated
Communication,” Carla Lloyd, in Thorson and Moore
9/19 Media and Estimates of Audience Size (HUT/PUT, Rating, Share, GRPs)
th Chapters 4 (Chapter 5 in 5 ed.)
9/21 Media and Estimates of Audience Exposure (Reach, Frequency, CPM/CPP, and VPVH)
th Chapter 5 (pp. 87 – 105) (Chapter 6 in 5 ed. – pp. 115 – 131)
Handout: Worksheet on Media Basics
9/26 Reach and Frequency: Reach Curves and Effective Frequency
th Chapter 5 (pp. 106 – 116) (Chapter 6 in 5 ed. – pp. 132 – 148)
9/28 Media Strategy: Understanding Audiences (Simmons/MRI) & Connections Planning
th Chapter 7 (pp. 159 – 171) (Chapter 8 in 5 ed. – pp. 195– 206)
10/3 Media Strategy: Understanding the Competition (BAR/LNA)
th Chapter 6 (Chapter 7 in 5 ed.)
10/5 Sales Analysis and Geographic Strategies (BDI/CDI/MSI)
th Chapter 7 (pp. 172 – 192) (Chapter 8 in 5 ed. – pp. 207– 226)
10/10 Weighting and Scheduling Strategies
th Chapter 8 (Chapter 9 in 5 ed.)
Handout: Midterm Review Packet
10/12 Midterm Review
10/17 Midterm Exam #1
10/19 NO CLASS – RECOVERY DAY
10/24 Introduction to Computer Software – Computer Session
10/26 Media Buying: Negotiating Network Upfront
th Chapter 12 (Chapter 15 in 5 ed.)
10/31 Intermedia Comparisons: Media Strengths and Weaknesses
th Chapter 9 (Chapter 10 in 5 ed.)
11/2 Combining National and Spot Market Activity – Computer Session
11/7 Media Planning: Objectives, Strategies, and Plan Development – Altoids Case Study
th Chapter 10 (Chapter 11 in 5 ed.)
11/9 Final Project: Product Assignment and Discussion of Project Scope
11/14 Researching Your Product: The Business Reference Library (meet in class; walk over)
th Chapter 2 (Chapter 13 and 14 in 5 ed.)
11/16 Take-home Midterm Assigned and Discussed
11/21 Media Relations Strategies: PR & Promotions
Reserve Readings :
“Global and local media relations” - Matthew Gonring, in Caywood
“Integrated marketing public relations” - Thomas Harris, in Caywood