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Media planning: graduate area of work

A graduate career as a media planner entails producing advertising campaign action plans from pre-defined marketing objectives.

What it involves

Media planners are employed by advertising and media agencies. They work closely with agency accounts staff, ensuring that campaign ideas, strategies and objectives are converted into tangible tasks.

Key responsibilities of the job include:

  • producing financial and media plans/forecasts
  • undertaking relevant research
  • analysing and interpreting data
  • liaising with clients, consumers and advertising staff
  • producing briefs for media buyers

Career progression may be performance-related.

What's required

Contact with clients and colleagues is a key feature of the job, so good interpersonal and communication skills are essential. Employers often value personality, relevant skills and commercial awareness more highly than qualifications. Consequently, any degree discipline is acceptable, although journalism, psychology, business studies, communications, media studies, marketing or management qualifications can be helpful.

Potential employees should possess confidence, the ability to cope with pressure and effective organisational abilities. Candidates need enthusiasm, stamina, determination and perseverance as there is severe competition for jobs - particularly for graduate training places. A good appreciation of what working within advertising involves is helpful and relevant paid or voluntary work experience is desirable. A small number of agencies offer vacation placements.

Where to find out more

Most jobs are located in London and major cities. Vacancies are advertised by recruitment agencies, in national newspapers and in publications such as Campaign, The Drum, Marketing, Media Week, and Marketing Week. Some agencies operate graduate recruitment schemes for which early applications are advisable (contact your careers service for details or refer to the IPA's 'Advertising Fact File'). Many posts are never advertised so speculative applications are essential - Advertisers Annual and BRAD Advertiser and Agency List may be useful for these.

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