So, you've decided...you want a career in advertising.
Everything you've read about it online, and seen on TV and the movies, makes it seem like the perfect profession for you. You've asked around, you'd read the books, you want this. Well, just ten steps can help you get into advertising and make the most out of a new career.
1: Understand the Different Industries
Are you sure you want to work in advertising and not public relations?
Many times, all of these industries are confused as being one and the same. But there are big differences between advertising and public relations. Before you proceed, know which industry really matches up with your ideas and personality.
2: Know What to Expect
Find out if advertising is the right career for you. Are you ready for long hours, low pay and a high-pressure environment? These are just some obstacles you may face as a budding ad pro. You may have even encountered some common misconceptions about what a career in advertising is like. Know what to expect before you decide to pursue this career.
3: Choose the Right Career Path
You don't have to be creative to work in advertising. If you're well-organized, have good people skills and you can manage multiple people working on various projects all at once to make sure your team meets deadlines, a career as an Account Executive may suit you very well.
Maybe you're more of a numbers type of person and researching data to determine ad placement is right up your alley. A career in the Media Department may be just what you're looking for instead. Explore the many careers in the ad industry to determine which ones interest you most and which ones you would like to work toward.
4: Evaluate Your Education
Many people want to know if they have the right education for a career in advertising. A lot of questions even come from college graduates who wonder if their degree would get them a job in the ad industry. Others want to know if any education is required. Choosing the right education for a career in advertisingdepends on your own career goals. Some people in the ad industry don't even have a degree while others have found advertising courses are just what they need to kickstart their career.
5: Study Your Possibilities
Working in an agency isn't the only way to be an ad pro. An ad agency is probably the first environment that pops into your head but there are other alternatives that can give you a long and successful career in the business.
An in-house agency serves as a full-fledged ad agency. However, it just has one client. Employees at production companies usually spend most of their time writing, shooting and editing commercials for clients. Then there's the freelancing side of advertising, where copywriters and graphic designers can freelance for ad agency, in-house agency and production company clients as well as business clients who may not have an agency on retainer.
Study the possibilities to see if there is a particular working environment that might appeal to you more than another. This will help you in your job search for possible positions.
6: Intern for Experience
Interning is an excellent way to gain valuable experience and to get your foot in the door with an ad agency. You will make key contacts you can use to get a job but you may not need them right away if the agency offers you a permanent full-time position when your internship is complete.
You want to make sure you get the most out of your internship. Don't be a wallflower. This is your time to help others, learn the business and get your hands on anything the agency will let you help with.
7: Create Samples to Show to Potential Employers
Writing or design samples are crucial if you want a job as a copywriter or graphic designer.
But if you're just starting out, chances are you don't have anything to show a potential employer. Speculative ads, better known as SPEC ADS, are just what you need to show your ability to do the job. SPEC ADS give you instant writing samples you can use to show a potential employer your writing voice or your design style.
8: Prepare Your Portfolio
When you're called for an interview, you need to be prepared. Put those SPEC ADS or other samples of your work in your portfolio (ideally online) before the phone rings.
Getting your portfolio ready ahead of time means you're ready to go even if the potential employer needs to meet with you within the next hour because he's getting on a plane to Tahiti at 4 p.m. And if you've researched your potential employer's needs beforehand, you can change your portfolio to adapt to the company's specific needs to make you really stand out from the large pile of resumes sitting on the desk.
9: Land the Interview
Now that you've decided what type of advertising career interests you the most, you're ready to line up those interviews. Be realistic. Be persistent. Be honest. These are the basics to follow when looking for a job but there are other ways to increase your chances of being noticed when you apply Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.for the position so you can be sure to land the interview.
10: Go Get That Job
Now that you've made it to this step, you're more prepared than most people who want a career in advertising. There are a number of opportunities out there for you so go get that job in advertising.
WHY IS PR IMPORTANT?
According to Public Relations News, "Public relations is the management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance."
While the public part implies inclusion of things like public affairs, community relations, investor relations, public press conferences, media events, internal communications and crisis communications, it also involves a lot of behind-the-scenes, non-public activity. It could involve simply the writing of a press release, but it could also involve coordinating media contacts for an event or conference, securing credentials, lobbying for article placement and the like.
Sometimes public relations is an effort to influence the public. This is especially true for political action groups, associations and other groups. Sometimes public relations is community relations. Just look around your own community to see how many companies and organizations have a community affairs initiative or a person in charge with a related title. In larger, publicly held firms, this person is sometimes the director of investor relations. Investors are a public entity, so in this case public relations is appropriate.
What the public wants to hear is a good story. Good PR is the telling of a good story. The better the story, the better the acceptance by the public and the better the public relations. Of course if the story is especially appealing to those that could be your clients, then you could have a PR homerun. In this case, it is communication with your target market that may or may not be very public.
PR's importance is changing, according to The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR (HarperBusiness). American marketing strategists Al and Laura Ries argue that public relations has become the most effective way to build a brand. Well-known brands like The Body Shop, PlayStation and Harry Potter spend little on brand-name advertising. The same is true for many entrepreneurial companies like yours. Business owners become known in their respective fields of concentration many times through public relations and the associated media generated.
PR is communication in many ways with your target market. Maybe instead of public relations we ought to call it target market relations or TMR. You may be communicating about a new product, spreading news about your company or making a major announcement. You want to communicate publicly, but the only people you care about are potential prospects, customers or investors, in the case of a partnership or a public company. One exception may be communication to a group that you are trying to influence for the best interest of your company and target market. An example of this is lobbying government.
Define what your public or target is in your public relations effort. This is best done by defining your target market and then any sub-segment. Lining up publications and broadcasts with the market and the segments will define what the public is for your public relations.
The bottom line is to get word out about you, your company, your products and services to those who could potentially buy from you. Public relations is just one part of marketing, as marketing is made up of many things. The good news about PR is the cost and the effectiveness when it's in front of your target market.