Media partner feature: Cleverworks

mike mchale

Mike McHale is the founder and chief media officer at Cleverworks, where he works with marketers and creative agencies through media and marketing consultancy-providing strategy, planning, negotiating insights and serving as a catalyst for new ideas and innovation. He also works with media partners as a resource for seminars on a variety of topics, including “Behind the Velvet Rope: An Agency Insider’s Guided Tour.”

Mike has run the BMW, British Airways, International Securities Exchange ant RCA accounts in the U.S. since 2000 for Optimedia before founding Cleverworks in 2005. He’s won several awards for his work included a Gold Effie for “Can the Atlantic Turn a Profit?” campaign for the Atlantic. Mike has worked on the agency and media ends of the spectrum and is a true industry veteran. He offered to share more information about his experiences as a media partner with

Get Listed

“Never underestimate the power of SRDS. No one ever paid me to say that, but can make your work-life easier. A basic listing doesn’t cost a media property anything. If you’re a site, magazine, radio station and you’re not listed, you’re not even being considered by planners. If someone picks up the yellow pages, they’re looking to buy something. It’s like that with SRDS. If someone is in SRDS, they have one intention, planning and buying media. These are the serious people that you want.”

Contact Information is Essential

“Not all media owners understand the power of SRDS and the under-delivery they’re creating if their profile doesn’t have a full list of reps with email addresses. It’s a total disservice to your brand. Younger media planners may not always want to talk on the phone. If they can get by with requesting more information through email, then that’s what they’ll do. That’s why your contacts need to be up-to-date in your listing. And a general phone number just isn’t going to do it. Your contact tab should have multiple contacts, phone numbers and emails. It’s amazing to me how many digital media owners ignore this and don’t update their listing with the key digital connection point of email. SRDS is the one Rolls Royce and only player in town for advertising databases, so no matter if you’re a website or magazine, keep your data updated.”

The Atlantic: A Success Story

“SRDS was a big component of the Atlantic campaign, where we won an Effie award. We launched an integrated campaign for The Atlantic & that reached the target of New York media planning and buying communities in a unique way. It ran for six weeks and the Atlantic saw a 193% increase in its quarterly online ad revenue. They attracted 67 new advertisers, 35 online and 32 in print. was one of the backbones of the campaign. Even if we had 10% of the total new advertisers, that alone is worth updating your SRDS listing. There’s a reason why some of the biggest media companies in the world invest in SRDS. It works.”

Final Thoughts

“There are some media companies who are using well. NBC and Forbes, for example. But some of these small, obscure pubs need to understand that SRDS is their way to get on people’s radar screens. They may not have huge ad sales teams, so can give you that exposure and allow you to put all your resources for media planners in one spot. If you’re listed in SRDS, you should be all the way in, or you might as well be out. For the amount of time and effort that it takes to fully flesh out your contacts information, you could be getting that one more sale or $5,000 worth your time. But in all honesty, the likelihood that you’ll get 20 more sales goes up when you update your listing. Invest with SRDS.”

Thanks to Mike for sharing his experiences with us and other media partners. To find out more about Cleverworks, visit

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