ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE; So You Want to Be An

Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales), July 19, 2009 | Go to article overview

ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE; So You Want to Be An


ADVERTISING account executives (also known as account handlers) - a role depicted in 1960s-based US drama Mad Men - work for advertising agencies, preparing pitches to win new business and servicing the needs of existing clients.

Advertising account executives also organise and monitor advertising campaigns.

Following a client's brief, they work with account planners and media staff to devise a marketing strategy and advertising campaign to promote a product within a budget. They present the proposal, and if approved, delegate work to a creative team. Familiarity with the product, business-culture and the competition is needed. Typically they handle three to four non-competing accounts at once.

They ensure deadlines are met, the client is informed about progress and that any problems are ironed out. They handle the invoicing and administration of the account, write reports, keep records and financial details, and maintain a photo library. They monitor the success of the campaign and provide feedback to the client.

Hours and environment Advertising executives work long, irregular and unsocial hours, usually during the week, although deadlines and workload can lead to weekend work. Some agencies have flexible hours on the understanding that staff will work late when deadlines demand it.

Most time is spent working in comfortable offices. The rest of the time will be spent travelling to meet clients.

Skills and interests To be an advertising account executive you should: Have a good head for business;

Have good communication skills, both written and spoken; Be able to work with a range of people and as part of a team; Bean effective team leader to co-ordinate thework of different agency departments; Have some numerical ability for working out budgets; Have good computer skills;

Have stamina to be able to drive andwork long hours, often under pressure; Have a smart appearance and a professional manner; Be organised, flexible with good negotiation skills; Have a persuasive yet diplomatic approach when discussing clients' needs; and Be able to deal with constructive criticism.

Entry There are no minimum educational requirements, but entry into advertising is very competitive and most entrants have A-levels. A degree or higher national diploma (HND) is often required by large agencies, while smaller ones also look for relevant work experience.

There is a range of courses available at colleges and universities at HND, degree and postgraduate levels. …

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