Why procurement departments are interested in media

Julian Coles, head of procurement, The Boots Company, sets out his principles of constructive engagement in media

Julian Coles

It is said that when John Glenn, recently back in space at the age of 77, was asked whether he was afraid about his journey into space the first time, he replied that the idea was not half as scary as the thought that every component of the rocket had been bought by NASA's procurement department at the lowest tender price!

This reinforces the image of anyone with the word 'procurement' or 'purchasing' in their job title as a bean counter – knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing – and inspires a reaction from advertising agencies and marketing departments that is frequently a mixture of fear and contempt.