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Businesses all over the world rely on the power of advertising to ensure that their products or services appeal to customers. Fast-paced, varied and often unpredictable, it’s not surprising that a role in an advertising agency is an attractive graduate job – but when searching for “graduate jobs in advertising”, you'll be presented with an array of completely different opportunities.
So, given that there are so many diverse graduate jobs in advertising, how are you to know which one is right for you?
To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of just a few of the many roles that exist within the advertising industry – so you’re well-equipped to decide which graduate job is the best fit for you and your skill set.
A media ‘planner’ and a media ‘buyer’ are roles with slightly different responsibilities and purposes. In large companies, these will probably be separate jobs, while in smaller creative agencies they are likely to be one person. So what does each one do?
A Media Planner: gathers and analyses information on different media platforms (like TV, radio, print or digital). Based on this information, they will identify the best platforms for an advert to gain optimum reach, and maximise appeal to the relevant audience.
A Media Buyer: will negotiate with the media owner to ensure that the advert will have the best position, timing and most importantly - price point - for their specific client.
For both roles, it’s absolutely essential that the Media Planner / Buyer is switched-on to media trends and the general media landscape – because in order to judge or negotiate the best platform for a client, they’ll need to know the industry inside-out!
Key skills: Research, analysis, negotiation
An Account Manager or Account Executive is the vital point of contact between a business and its clients. They will ensure the smooth running of the accounts, resolve any questions or issues that the client might have, and communicate their needs to the business.
The Account Management team will always be working to build and maintain lasting relationships with these clients. They'll also need to manage their client's expectations, which is something that will require mutual trust, by being transparent and communicative with their client. In advertising, clients are likely to be quite varied, and it’s essential that the team takes the time to understand each client’s needs and target audience.
They will speak to many different people, deliver pitches and presentations, and negotiate ideas – so are likely to be what you might call a “people person”.
Key skills: Communication, problem-solving, presentation
The role of a Project Manager is pretty varied – no two days will be the same!
Their aim is to plan, budget and oversee different projects – of which there are a lot in the fast-paced world of an advertising agency. A Project Manager needs to be able to envision the end result - and map out the best way to reach it.
They’ll organise resources, create timelines, budget costs and minimise risks - ensuring that the project is completed without a hitch, and achieves the desired result! To do so, the Project Manager will need to be skilled at communicating plans, managing schedules, and delegating tasks to team members.
Key skills: Analytical, planning, leadership, time management
Operations or office management graduate jobs aim to support the function of the business, and they are unlikely to be part of a specific team. In terms of an advertising agency, these kinds of roles are broader – but that’s not to say that they aren’t absolutely vital for a business to run successfully.
Someone in an office management graduate job will support the business by undertaking different tasks – in an advertising agency this might mean budgeting, bookkeeping, planning agendas or preparing proposals.
Someone in an operations graduate job will ensure that a business is running efficiently. They’ll always be thinking about the big picture, but will understand each part of the business, and are likely to work closely with different teams with in it. Someone in an operations graduate job will need to be organised and meticulous, as they will be refining processes and maximising productivity.
What’s great about both these roles is that you’ll get a feel for the advertising industry. You might find that you have an interest in one particular aspect of the business – and this may well be something you move into with time!
Key skills: Teamwork, organisation, interpersonal skills
It’s clear from looking at just a few different roles – as this list is by no means comprehensive - that advertising comprises a mix of jobs, with varied skill sets and diverse personality traits to suit different people.
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