What it involves
Every advert you see in a newspaper or magazine or on the television or online requires a media sales person to get it there. You could be working for the newspaper, magazine, website or TV channel where the advert will appear, or for a specialist media agency. There are also media sales roles in the events industry, selling sponsorship opportunities or delegate places at conferences. Wherever you work, you’ll need to research the market, keep an eye on the competition, keep your clients happy and know about all the potential advertisers in your sector.
You’ll spend your time:
- developing your client base
- building relationships in person and on the phone
- making and closing sales
- planning stages of a publication or website to ensure it meets your clients’ varied needs.
Working to tight deadlines and ambitious targets is an important aspect of media sales so you’ll need to work well under pressure and thrive in a fast-paced, competitive working environment. Teamwork skills are a must – as well as working closely with other salespeople you will be expected to liaise with colleagues in editorial, design, production and marketing. You’ll have to be an excellent communicator with the confidence to build relationships with clients.
If you’re working on a specialist publication or in a particular industry, you’ll need the technical knowledge to talk to clients on their level. Any degree could be suitable for a career in media sales but, if you want to specialise in a certain area, it will help to have the relevant background. Customer-facing work experience will be helpful, especially where you may have had the chance to perfect your telephone skills, and you might also want to consider getting some experience at a local newspaper or publisher.
Media sales vacancies can be found in a range of newspapers, including The Guardian (online and in Monday’s newspaper), and industry magazines and websites such as Brand Republic and Marketing Week.