Chuck DunningChuck Dunning is the vice president and general manager of Channel 6 TV, and is responsible for all of the TV station’s operations. He got his start in research and moved up the ladder to programming, sales, promotion, and marketing. Dunning currently teaches the Media Sales in SDSU’s Marketing and Media program.

What made you want to teach?
Personally, I don’t think a person ever knows anything until you teach it. Teaching makes sure you know the subject and definitely keeps you current.

Why is it important for students to study media sales, and marketing and media?
One of the most important parts of a business is the generation of revenue, and sales is a completely unlicensed field. Anyone can call themselves an expert and I don’t believe there’s enough time and energy spent devoted to media sales. This is why I think the Media and Marketing program is beneficial – it gives a person grounding in the field of media and marketing, which is paramount to a business succeeding.

Are there class activities or homework?
The first night of class we review the seven steps of a sale.

  • The first step is prospecting for the best particular business for whatever media you’re selling.
  • The second step is how to prospect or find the decision maker in a company – and setting the appointment with that person.
  • The third step is ascertaining the prospect business’s conditions, needs, and opportunities.
  • The fourth step is coming back with solutions, after you uncover the needs – coming back with something that meets their needs.
  • The fifth step is presenting the solutions to the client or business.
  • The sixth step is closing the sale.
  • The seventh step is servicing and monitoring the sale.

Will the students have hands-on experience with those seven steps?
Yes, they will complete a couple of different activities. We prospect and learn how to use different forms of research.  There are also guest speakers who sell what we call nontraditional media sponsorships – people who sell to advertising agencies and who sell to direct clients.

Is a career in media sales a promising path?
Yeah. Anyone who is a successful sales person will never be out of work because every business needs revenue, and anybody who is skilled at generating that revenue is always going to be a valuable asset. Media sales, in particular, is an exciting field because it’s going through a rapid evolution now as we transform from mass media into more specific and targeted social media. We need to understand how companies get their message out as people’s habits change radically. So, what’s key is to learn how those avenues are changing, how the media are reacting to it, and how to best use the media for an ad message.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Marketing and Media is a great program because it gives students exposure to how businesses work, what the opportunities are, and provides familiarity with business terms and practices to be successful.