1 Careers in Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations If you would like more information or have questions about this document, feel free to speak with a Career Advancement counselor. You can make an appointment by calling The basic goal of marketing, advertising and public relations professionals is to support the successful sale of products and services for a firm/client; and the communication of information about a firm s/client s activities. Each of these is a great industry for individuals with strong writing and research skills who are interested in working in teams and communicating with others on a regular basis. There are two primary paths for those interested in these careers: 1. Work directly for the organization selling the product or service 2. Work for an advertising, marketing, or public relations firm whose services are then sought by the organization selling the product or service. Also keep in mind that many corporations and organizations, including nonprofits and academic institutions, have marketing and/or public-relations departments. It is important to note that marketing, advertising and public relations are not the same thing. While all three industries involve similar skill sets, the work that takes place in these fields does vary greatly. This is especially important to note when you are interviewing for a position in one of these categories. If you aren t sure if one of these fields may be a good fit for you (or if you aren t sure which field might be a better fit) we encourage you to meet with a Career Advancement staff member for additional guidance. Marketing Marketing professionals develop a firm s detailed marketing strategy (i.e. the process that can allow an organization to concentrate its resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage). With the use of market research (i.e. the process of systematic gathering, recording and analyzing of data about customers, competitors and the market), they determine the demand for products and services offered by a firm and its competitors. In addition, they identify potential markets for example, business firms, wholesalers, retailers, government, or the general public. Marketing professionals develop pricing strategy with an eye towards maximizing a firm s share of the market and its profits while ensuring that the firm s customers are satisfied. In collaboration with sales, product development, and others, they monitor trends that indicate the need for new products and services and oversee product development. Marketing works with advertising to promote the firm s products and services and to attract potential users. Advertising Advertising professionals can often be split into five categories: 1. Account Management Account management and research work to connect the advertising industry to the client organization. They bring business to the advertising agency as well as analyze consumer trends and competitive activity of other advertising agencies. Management serves as a bridge between the client and the advertising agency. Ida Noyes Hall 1212 E. 59th Street Chicago, IL careeradvancement.uchicago.edu
2 2. Creative The creative department brings an advertising idea to life. Copywriters write the words of ads, both the written part of print ads as well as the scripts of radio and television spots. Art directors develop the visual concepts and designs of advertisements and are responsible for everything from preparing paste-ups and layouts for print ads to overseeing the filming of television commercials and photo sessions. Copywriters and art directors are often paired up as semipermannt teams. 3. Media The media department is responsible for placing advertisements in the right place at the right time, so that the ads will reach the desired audience for the least amount of money. Media planners gather information on the public s viewing and reading habits, and evaluate editorial content and programming to determine the potential use of media such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television, or the Internet. Media buyers track the media space and times available for purchase, negotiate and purchase time and space for ads, and make sure ads appear exactly as scheduled. 4. Research Researchers serve as a bridge between the consumers and the agency. They provide critical information on what is currently in demand by consumers and what they are willing to pay. Research is critical to moving a company forward. 5. Account Planning Account planners (not to be confused with account management) combine creativity with solid qualitative and quantitative research skills to serve as the voice of the consumer. Planners try to get inside the consumer s mind and figure out what makes them purchase or not purchase a product. Planners often create the strategy behind the ad campaigns. Planners are the bridge between the consumers and the creators. Positions in account management, account planning and research are found mainly in advertising agencies, while creative and media departments are found in all advertising departments, both on the agency side and the client side. Public Relations Public Relations professionals direct publicity programs to a targeted audience. They use every available communication medium (including modern guerilla tactics ) in their effort to maintain the support of the specific group upon whom an organization s success depends, such as consumers, stockholders, or the general public. Public relations professionals also evaluate advertising programs for compatibility with public relations efforts. They observe social, economic, and political trends that might ultimately affect the firm and make recommendations to enhance the firm s image based on those trends. The difference between advertising and public relations is that advertising professionals purchase ad space to place their advertisements in (print, radio and television media). In contrast, public relations professionals try to get editors, reporters and media personalities to talk and write about products without receiving any payment. Creating positive buzz (or combating negative buzz about a product or service) is the main goal of public relations campaigns. What You Need for These Careers Educational Background A wide range of educational backgrounds are suitable for entry into marketing, advertising, and public relations jobs, but many employers prefer those with experience in related occupations plus a broad liberal arts background. Experience is frequently cited as the key to getting a job in these industries. The best way to gain this crucial experience is either through (usually unpaid) internships or externships or through entering what is known as a portfolio program. These programs can last anywhere from six months to two years where the entire focus is building your professional book or portfolio of ads or clips. Key Skills Depending on the type of work, both quantitative and qualitative backgrounds can provide a solid foundation into an entry-level position. Persons interested in marketing, advertising, or public relations should be very personable, mature, creative, highly motivated, resistant to stress, flexible, and decisive. The ability to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing is vital. Career Development Networking (either through internships or the online alumni directory) is the primary method of breaking into the field. Further education, whether through a master s degree, a portfolio program or an organization s in-house training is recommended, but not necessarily essential. A solid portfolio or book of your work is often used in place of a resume as an indicator of the level of your work and experience.
3 Some associations offer certification programs for advertising, marketing, sales, and public relations managers. Certification a sign of competence and achievement in this field are particularly important in a competitive job market. Sampling of Graduate School and Portfolio Programs Ad Center (Virginia Commonwealth University): Creative Circus: Miami Ad School: University of Texas at Austin: Internship Programs Jeff Metcalf Internships Each year, several undergraduate internship opportunities in advertising, marketing, and/or public relations (in addition to dozens of other fields) are available through the Jeff Metcalf Program. Applications often include an essay, resume, transcript, and letter of recommendation. Check the Career Advancement website. Deadlines can begin as early as October. Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) This program encourages African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, and Native-American college students to strongly consider advertising as a career through a 10 week paid internship. Visit default.aspx for more information. In House Internships Many advertising and public relations agencies also offer their own in house internship programs. Students should research individual firms via their websites to learn more about these opportunities. Professional Associations Professional associations are a wonderful way to learn more about these fields, build a professional network and encounter numerous job opportunities. Some popular associations include: American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA): American Marketing Association (AMA): Chicago American Marketing Association: Public Relations Society of America (PRSA): Public Relations Student Society of America: Additional Online Resources Advertising Council: A private, non-profit organization of volunteers who conduct advertising campaigns for the public good. The Council is the largest source of public service advertising in the country. Its regional office is in Chicago at 740 North Rush Street in the Gold Coast neighborhood. Advertising Educational Foundation: The AEF is a non-profit organization dedicated to explaining how advertising is created, how it works and what it contributes to social and economic life. Advertising Age: In addition to providing advertising news, feature stories, and statistical information on the advertising world, the AdAge site includes a Job Bank where job seekers can view career profiles, post a résumé, and conduct a thorough but intentional job search. MediaBistro: Media Bistro is a site that compiles articles, local events and of course, a job bank for people interested in a wide variety of media professions. Career Advancement Services and Resources See a Career Advancement Counselor All students are encouraged to see a Career Advancement counselor at some point in their university career. Counselors are able to offer assistance with job application materials, including resumes and cover letters. Staff is also able to help discuss broader plans like graduate or professional school. Students are encouraged to make an appointment and can either call or do so online. Walk-In Appointments Throughout the year, Career Advancement counselors make themselves available for short, walk-in appointments. The hours vary from quarter to quarter but the website is always up-to-date with current hours. Students looking for brief assistance are encouraged to use these appointments as a way to quickly move forward in their search.
4 Career Advancement Programs and Resources Career Advancement offers programs throughout the year designed to educate students about career options in a variety of fields, as well as build crucial job search skills (informational interviewing, networking, etc.). View the Career Advancement event calendar online to learn more. Be sure to browse our Career Resource Library as well as our website for additional resources. Chicago Career Connection (CCC) Accessible via the Career Advancement website, this online tool specifically for University of Chicago students and alumni lists full- and part-time jobs and internships, in Chicago, nationally, and even internationally. Jobs and internships listed are in business, government and nonprofits. UChicago Careers In These series of University of Chicago programs helps undergraduate students learn about and prepare for careers in the arts, business, communications, education, health professions, journalism, law, non-profit/public service, science and technology, and social work. Some programs are selective and others are open to all students. To learn more about this great University of Chicago offering, visit the UChicago Careers In section of the Career Advancement website. Listhosts Join the Consulting Career Advancement list to get regular updates on career-related programs and job postings. You might also join the general business management listhost. Sign up via Chicago Career Connection (accessible via the Career Advancement website) and edit your profile to start receiving these s. Employer Information Sessions Employers looking to hire students in consulting come to campus each year to host information sessions. This is a great way to learn about particular companies and network. View the Career Advancement event calendar online to learn more and see the schedule. Researching Organizations Know who the dominant players within the sector are as well as all the companies that are going to participate in on-campus recruiting. You can obtain first-hand accounts of the company s culture and philosophy by talking to University of Chicago alumni who are working at the firm (see networking and informational interviewing above). A good understanding of the work environment will go a long way in answering fit questions during the interview process and will help you differentiate the firms to enable you to pick those that best fit your personality. Networking and Informational Interviewing Whether you just want to learn more about a career in consulting or you re ready to apply for jobs, conducting informational interviews and networking with individuals already working in that field is a crucial part of the process. Career Advancement counselors can show you how to use the online alumni directory to identify University of Chicago alumni in this field; how to set up and prepare for an informational interview; and how to network effectively. Make an appointment by calling Practice Your Interviewing Practice Interviewers: Career Advancement has practice interviewers on staff to conduct mock behavioral and case interviews. To schedule a practice interview call Career Advancement Super Interview Walk-In Days: Career Advancement holds Super Interview Walk-In Days for undergraduate and graduate students at the beginning of fall and winter quarters. Students interested in participating in a short, walk-in appointment style interview should attend. These days will be listed on the Career Advancement calendar online. On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) Every year employers come to campus to recruit University of Chicago students. In order to participate in OCR, you must be activated in Chicago Career Connection, which will allow you to view OCR-specific job postings. To become activated in CCC and to learn more about OCR, speak with a Career Advancement counselor.
5 Books Advertising and Public Relations (Career Launcher), Stan Tymorek (2010) Careers in Advertising (VGM) Careers in Marketing, Lila B. Stair (2008) Great Jobs for Art Majors, Blythe Camenson (2003) Harvard Business School Guide to Careers in Marketing (2000) How To Put Your Book Together & Get A Job In Advertising (Newly Revised Edition), Maxine Paetro (2010) Insiders Guide to Careers in Advertising and Public Relations (WetFeet) Insiders Guide to Careers in Marketing and Market Research (WetFeet) Opportunities in Public Relations Careers, Morris B. Rotman (2001) The Truth about Advertising and Public Relations, Brad Andrews (2009) Vault and WetFeet Career Portals Vault: Media and Marketing: hubhome_506.jsp?ch_id=506 WetFeet: These two sites give industry overviews, info on companies, great links, and more. Good place to start, but please don t stop there. University Library Resources The University Library provides access to the following Vault and WetFeet titles via netlibrary, one our electronic resources. These are e-books (electronic books). They cannot be downloaded or printed. Doing so is a violation of copyright law. Careers in Advertising Careers in Marketing and Market Research Careers in Marketing Guide to Careers in Brand Management Additional Reading The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, Al Ries and Laura Ries (2001) The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand, Al Ries and Laura Ries (2002) Big Brands, Big Trouble: Lesson Learned the Hard Way, Jack Trout (2002) The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
Industry and Company Research If you would like more information or have questions about this document, feel free to speak with a Career Advancement counselor. You can make an appointment by calling 773-702-7040.
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