You’ve Sold a PBS Sponsorship – Now What?

We all get excited when we close a deal.  And we should be, but we can’t rest on our laurels.  We must be vigilant because some other media sales rep will be calling our new client any second.  As PTV Corporate Support professionals, we need to think about how we can engage with our clients so we can form mutually beneficial, lasting partnerships.

I reached out to Doug Carleton (General Sales Manager | WTTW), Marci Ozawa (Director, Corporate Support | Oregon Public Broadcasting), and Millie Adan-Garza (Director of Sales – Underwriting and Corporate Sponsorships | Houston Public Media) to inquire about their client engagement process post-close.  I’ve compiled a list of some quick tips of the trade, as well as some insider tips from each manager.  Plus we have a corresponding Infographic because, well, we like them.


  • We’re in Development. Don’t forget to send a thank you!  Depending upon the account, a station executive might even send one.
  • Station swag never hurts.
  • Who doesn’t like lunch? Invite them.  (And your manager depending on the account size.)
  • Send them clips of stories you produced that are topics of interest or that feature their organization or industry.
  • Invite them to station events – tapings, pledge, panels, galas, & the like. These in-person opportunities are unique, yet your station has plenty so make sure your sponsors are included.


Doug – We always try to send them a recap of their Sponsorship, just to relay that all of the elements were executed as scheduled.  It’s important they know that all of the things they bought, happened as they should have.  And for our spot buys, we have to send the media buyers a post of the buy that shows that we reached the estimated ratings that we promised.  And then, of course, after a spot buy has been completed, we’re in there pretty quickly positioning ourselves for the next buy, and asking when that will be taking place.  In the case of a Sponsorship, we’re laying out some other opportunities that might be a good fit.

Marci – We hold a large thank you event every year for our sponsors (prospects are invited too). People always walk away with good connections. While it’s a good chance to for us to get some face time with clients, it also reinforces the power of sponsorship for contacts to look around and see the great organizations that support us. We strictly keep it a thank you (so far), and don’t pitch them on opportunities. Also, it’s a free event with great food and drinks, which is hard to find these days! Throughout the year, we do trade with our local Business Journal (there’s one in most markets) and receive a table at their major events. We invite key clients and important prospects to sit with us at those events. That can be a catch 22, as the Business Journal is somewhat of a competitor for sponsorship dollars, but the opportunity to have in-depth conversations, outside of a typical client meeting, is worth it.

Millie – Lunch and Learns are always a great way to engage at the agency level while developing the agency or after closing an account to engage other account teams.


Marci – A surprising thing that generated amazing response… we were recruiting for a position and I cast a wider net than usual when e-mailing sponsor contacts to spread the word. I then spent most of a day responding to people who e-mailed me back immediately! People were excited to hear of an opening; I think they liked being in the know. My take-away is that sending people useful information, that they would take pleasure in forwarding to others, is a nice way to connect. I knew ticket giveaways or new program information was a good excuse to connect, but e-mailing about a job opening generated much more interaction than posting a job on LinkedIn. And who doesn’t like to share a great opportunity with someone?

Client Engagement Post Close.v2Lauren Cummings | Associate Director, Corporate Support, Station Relations | PBS

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