Cost Per Serving: How much will you charge for a serving of your SOPA? It depends on what a program sponsor/underwriter is having — the sancocho, the menudo, the caldo de camarones. Your Chef and cooking team have put together various choices, a menu of possibilities.
Ingredients: The Tarifario/Rate Card is not written in stone, but it must be established and respected by station staff. Rates are unique to each station and each Chef will develop them according to their individual circumstances. The following steps will help you create a rate card that must be included in your SOPA Guidelines.
- Compare information and rates: Before you decide how much to charge, look at others. How much are stations that are in similar markets charging? How much are commercial stations in your market charging? Who can make announcements on these stations: Corporations? Non-profits? Individuals? Compare the length of the announcements. Are they 30, 45 or 60-second spots? After gathering all the necessary information, compare it to what you can offer and set your tarifas/rates.
- Evaluate your station’s options: Your Chef and Cooking Staff will define the time frames during which announcements may be made. They will also determine the cost of announcements during those time frames. For example, Prime Time at your station may be defined by your ratings or best-supported programs. It may be from 6am to 10am or at a time-period that has the largest audience. You should be open to have ROS as part of your options. Remember that these labels must be flexible so they can be adapted depending on audience growth. Some suggested labels are: Prime Time, ROS, Enhanced UW, and so on.
- Define targets: To whom are you selling your SOPA? The Chef and Cooking Staff can decide if your station prefers to have specific rates for each category: non-profits, corporations, individuals or if you prefer to have basic offers for everybody. There is not a tailor-made way of doing this. Each station does it differently and it can also expand along the way as you cultivate additional sponsors with different interests.
- Calculate and establish rates: Here is where your calculator really comes in handy. Decide if you will have rates only for the specified categories or if your station will offer packages and specials. It is always good to have several options so the sponsors can choose. Be ready to multiply or divide rates depending on the case and to apply your math skills. For example, let’s say you choose a $30 rate for a 30-second spot in Prime Time. If the sponsor has $300, this amount covers 10 spots. Or perhaps the sponsor wants to buy announcements in both the Prime Time and another time. Your calculator will help you make the right combination.
- Make combinations and bonuses: Develop a proposal that presents budget options for the sponsor. For example, you can establish combinations from $100 up to $500, presenting the options for each combination. The alternatives will depend on your rates.
- Other aspects to consider: Is your station going to charge additional fees for copywriting services, production and post-production of the spots? If you decide to do so, this is the time to include that information in the rate card. And remember to stir well; you want to have a smooth and delicious SOPA.
- Research: Visit the websites that we suggest in the Tips section to help you along the process. Also visit the LPRC website. There is the list of Latino Public Radio Stations with their contact information. You can visit their websites to see if they have a SOPA in place and what they offer. Also look at radio stations that are close to you.
Get Ready for the Next Steps: There are other areas to consider to finish el Tarifario. Next week’s Receta will help you continue developing it and compiling the already discussed ingredientes so your SOPA can simmer and have a great flavor.
Remember, there are several websites that offer valuable information on Underwriting.
Also, you may subscribe to underwriting discussions to learn what other stations are doing. The link is: www.nprstations.org/login.cfm.
And don’t forget to participate in the NFCB listserv! Latino stations have access to the NFCB listserv because of a partnership between NFCB and LPRC. For information on accessing the listserv contact Ileana Rivera Santa.