Getting Started

The following is a step-by-step process for engaging with Fahlgren Mortine (FM) for all of your paid media needs. This is a university-wide contract created with input from senior-level unit communicators, an outcome of the operational excellence project sponsored by the vice president for communications at the request of the provost and the vice president for finance and administration. As such, the expectation is that all units across the university will utilize FM’s services when purchasing paid advertising in any medium.

Access to this contract provides your unit:

  • Data to drive more informed decision-making
  • Industry and media-platform expertise
  • Quality assurance and reliable ad placement
  • Brand integration and consistency
  • Continuous monitoring of ad efficacy to maximize ROI
  • Attainment of goals through a coordinated, consistent and collaborative approach to paid media
  • Substantial time savings in the form of operational and administrative efficiencies
  • Near-zero contractual risk

Step 1: Establish Unit Contact

There are two options for outreach to and engagement with FM:

  • The senior communicator is the main point of contact for the project and the point person for all correspondence with FM.
  • Someone other than the senior communicator (unit communicator, marketer, etc.) is the main point of contact for the ad buy and the point person for all correspondence with FM. In this case, the senior communicator must be made aware of the request, must agree to not being the main point of contact, and must be included in all correspondence with the agency.

Step 2: Complete Media Brief

To make contact with FM, complete as best you can a short media brief. The completed media brief will be sent to FM, UC and, if you are not the senior communicator, to your unit’s senior communicator. UC, which manages all university-wide paid media campaigns, will be available to provide the “big-picture input” as well as any guidance and advice, thus creating further efficiencies. If you are looking to purchase a one-time advertisement of less than $500, please see the contract addendum.   

NOTE: It’s essential to identify in the media brief your expectation for creative development of the ads (e.g., social media ads, banner ads, landing pages), inclusive of copy, visuals and design. Utilizing FM for creation of ad content is optional. You have three options for creative services:

  1. In-house ad development: Your department creates the assets to be used in the media placements.
  2. Freelance ad development: UC can provide recommendations on freelancers who specialize in asset creation. Please note that university purchasing guidelines and purchasing thresholds apply. The unit would be responsible for gathering competitive quotes if necessary.
  3. Engagement of FM to provide creative services.

Step 3: Initial Meeting

FM will review all background information provided by the unit in the media brief and schedule a kickoff call with the appropriate people. University Communications (Elena Conti-Blatto or Devon Jerla) will be available to participate on the call. The purpose of the kickoff call is to review the information provided in the brief, which will provide the basis for the media plan.

Step 4: Media Planning Process

Following the kickoff, FM will create a customized plan in response to your particular request. A meeting will be scheduled approximately 3-4 weeks after the initial call. If your timeline is condensed and you need to schedule the planning meeting ASAP, please include that information in the brief. The purpose of this meeting is to allow FM to present their recommended plan and to answer any questions you may have. The plan will include the budget breakdown, inclusive of the ad buy and FM’s fees, and a schedule of milestones. 

Step 5: Resource Management

Once the final plan and budget/pricing have been agreed upon, the unit’s point person will follow their unit-specific business office or resource management process to create a purchase order (PO). To proceed, you will need the quote from FM detailing the costs of your plan. This should be attached to your e-Req (state funds) or ShopBlue order (RF or UBF funds). On your order you will also need to reference the contract reference #C-001270 and to note the commodity is considered “Advertising, Classified, Multi-Media, Billboards.”

Step 6: Asset Confirmation, Creation and Delivery

Following plan approval and resource management, FM will finalize agreements with vendors and provide the UB unit an authorization to buy and detailed specification sheet that includes due dates for all assets and deliverables. Then, the UB unit may begin to fulfill the creative elements as part of the media plan such as landing pages, forms, social media ads, digital banner ads, etc. If creative development is needed, please review our creative services vendors. You may contact a vendor directly and begin working without an RFP. Once the assets are delivered to FM, you can expect a 10-day activation period before your media officially begins.

Step 7: Measurement and Reporting

If monitoring services are included in the final plan, the unit must provide analytics access to any of their Google Analytics accounts. The unit can discuss integrating CRM systems with campaign reporting. FM will monitor all media and provide relevant feedback throughout the campaign, including making any recommended changes to further maximize the budget and provide the greatest ROI. Depending on the length of the campaign, there will be either a mid-point campaign recap and a final recap, or just a final recap, which will include all metrics and any learnings.