Becoming a Media Planner

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Taking a client’s advertising ideas and creating a plan for the best advertising campaign is the job of a media planner. They work with the ad copywriters and the clients, to design a an advertising campaign and then work out the most appropriate medium to advertise on, eg TV, radio or print media? Which channels? Target audience? What time to play the ad? etc. The person that takes on this role needs to be a creative visionary with a good eye for what works in advertising. They will also need the ability to develop ideas that will make an advertising campaign successful. Sound intriguing? Some tips below will give you an idea of what it takes to become a media planner.

Get a degree. Media planning is a professional field which requires a good education. There is no dedicated course to study for media planning but it is a good idea to pursue classes in media, marketing and advertising. These courses will be a great place to start.

The right skills. You will need not only a good education, but the right skills set to become a media planner. A sound knowledge of advertising, including what kinds of products can be marketed to a particular target audience and on what form of media that advertising should be presented eg print media, TV, radio? Media planners should be knowledgeable about brands, and be able to design plans on how to brand particular products. Really good people skills are important also, since you’ll be working closely with both clients and advertisers to create a campaign. You should be prepared for a lot of fine tuning in this line of work to ensure that the brand is aimed at the correct audience.

Work experience. Don’t expect to jump right into a position as a media planner – often the way to get started at advertising agencies is by working in lower-down-the-ladder jobs. If at all possible, get an internship with an advertising agency. The relationship to media planning doesn’t have to be immediately obvious – it is more important to get general experience in the industry. You can work your way up the food chain later.

Apply for work. When you are very familiar with the media and advertising campaigns, then you can start going for jobs as a media planner. Talk to the employer that you are currently with regarding positions available at that company. If you’ve worked hard and have proven yourself, you have a good chance of getting promoted to media planner.

If you seek employment outside of your current company, ensure that your résumé is recent and the cover letter is tailored for the company you’re writing to. List all of your relevant experience in media advertising, emphasize your ability to work with clients and advertising professionals to design a successful ad campaign. Be ready to provide samples of your work. With the right grounding and a good interview, you have no problems getting a job as a media planner.

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