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Media analysis: graduate area of work

Media analysts carry out general, quantitative and qualitative research in the production of media evaluation reports, the results of which are used to improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Most analysts work for press cutting agencies or media analysis firms on either a freelance or salaried basis. Other employers include television channels, radio stations, magazines and newspapers. Typical responsibilities include:

  • selecting research methods appropriate to pre-defined client criteria
  • designing and using qualitative and quantitative research tools such as questionnaires, focus groups, interview schedules
  • reading press releases/broadcast coverage and assessing if stories are favourable or detrimental to clients
  • analysing research results using a variety of numerical and IT tools
  • summarising and finalising data at the end of projects
  • entering data into client databases
  • supporting and advising coding/client account staff
  • making presentations
  • writing reports
  • attending information sessions
  • networking with media owners
  • ensuring set deadlines are met

What's required

Employers often value personality, relevant skills and commercial awareness more highly than qualifications. Consequently, any degree/HND subject is acceptable, although journalism, psychology, business studies, communications, media studies, marketing, or management qualifications may be helpful. Paid/voluntary work experience gained with a media evaluation company or within marketing/PR is desirable.

Candidates should be mature, confident, inquisitive, able to cope with pressure and have effective organisational abilities. Contact with clients and colleagues is a key feature of the job, so good team working, interpersonal and communication skills are essential. Strong research, analytical, numerical, IT and time management skills are also important.

Where to find out more

Salaried positions are few and attract considerable competition. A demonstrable interest in the media and a good appreciation of what working within the industry involves is helpful for applications. Vacancies are advertised by recruitment agencies, in national newspapers and in publications such as Campaign, The Drum, Marketing, Media Week, and Marketing Week.

Useful places to go for more information include The Advertising Association, The Institute of Practioners in Advertising, Communication Advertising and Marketing Education Foundation, the British Interactive Media Association and The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers.

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