Media Planner

How to Become a Media Planner
Media Planner Job Description
Skills and Qualities of Media Planners
Media Planner Salaries
Influential Professional Media Planners
Leading Organizations for Media Planners
Top Cities for Media Planner Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Media Planner

Media planners are part of the wider advertising and public relations fraternity that are concerned with the preparation and design campaigns on behalf of their clients. More specifically, media planners are responsible for acquiring media time and space for the purposes of advertising their clients' brand and products on a range of media that includes the Internet, publications, TV, and radio. Media planners buy these advertising spaces and time and then sell these directly to individual companies or advertising agencies.

Media planners' entry-level and managerial positions in the advertising services sector are available to those who have bachelor's degree qualifications with a bias toward exposure to the liberal arts. Media planners usually begin their careers in the account management section or in the creative department. Applicants who have done internship in an advertising related firm are at an advantage with respect to job qualification requirements. Subjects that are covered by the prospective media planners include psychology, marketing, creative design, statistics, and accounting. Job positions for assistant media planners or assistant media buyers are pegged for candidates who have a bachelor's degree with a strong leaning toward advertising or marketing. Vacancies in the research department of media planning jobs are largely taken over by persons who have master's degrees and a number of years working experience. Backgrounds in marketing or even statistics are recommended. For positions in the administration and support service brackets, there are various requirements that differ from one firm to the next as do the specific requirements for the position in question.

What does a Media Planner do?

Media planners are tasked with the duty of choosing the most suitable media in which to place advertisements on their client's behalf. The media planner has to work within the client's budget and look for the best media alternative with the main agenda of helping the client achieve his/her business targets. To do this, media planners have to observe and comprehend the market trends, have an insight into what motivates the target customers, and to keep up with the latest trends in media development. Previously, the role of the media planner and the media buyer was separated. The media planner was just supposed to create a plan for advertising. On the other hand, the media buyer was than responsible for negotiating with media owners or proprietors to see that the firm could get an agreement to use time and space on the media of choice. Negotiations with the media proprietors are centered upon issues that include merchandising, emplacement and positioning, rates, and copy deadlines.

The media planner's job description has certainly been expanded in recent times and in many firms these individuals are now referred to as communication planners or brand planners/strategists. The modern media planner now has to take into consideration both 'above-the-line' channels (these include advertising outdoors, through TV, radio, and also in the print media) and below-the-line options. In addition to these channels, the media planners also have to contemplate using options including digital media and in-store advertising. Product positioning is also a crucial element in their daily jobs. This is all in a bid to ensure that an optimum use of effective media channels is used within the reaches of the client's budget. The advertising structure to be employed in a given campaign is also required to pay within the client's marketing strategy.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Media Planner?

Media planners are required to possess excellent communication skills so as to be able to effectively explain their ideas to both the clients that has tasked them with their advertising jobs and the media proprietors who will sell the media time and space. They should also be very creative individuals who are able to design feasible advertising campaigns that will communicate the intended message directly to the target audience. Media planners should be quick thinkers and have the resourcefulness to tackle problems as they come. The media business is especially tough on persons who are unable to think themselves out of tight spots especially when the deadlines are rigid and tough to meet. Being skilled in a second language is an added advantage. This can open up job opportunities to work in other countries or to represent foreign firms in the US. Media planners need to constantly be in touch with the latest trends and demands in the marketplace.

How much do Media Planners make?

In May of 2006 media planners and non-supervisory workers employed in the advertising service sector and the public relations sectors earned an annual weekly salary of $724. This was comparably higher when considered against what non-supervisory workers that were employed in other sectors of the economy in the same period earned. This figure was $568/week. In addition to the basic salary, media planners usually earn additional incomes through profit sharing, bonuses pegged on performance, and also stock ownership.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Kevin Murphy is the Joint Managing Director of Zed Media. He was named in Campaign's Top 10 Media Planners list of 2007. Zed Media has experienced rapid growth since 2004. The firm has been constantly able to source for new business opportunities and has also received numerous awards including the NMA Grand Prix Award for Best Campaign of the Year for NSPCC in 2007. Edward Devalle is the CEO of Americas Media Group Worldwide (AMG). This firm is reputed to be the world's fastest expanding marketing and media agency. It has previously received the Best Media Planners Award.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

Multi Media Services Corporation is a market leader in the provision of multimedia services particularly in the areas of political media planning and buying. The firm has previously placed successful political media campaigns on TV, print, and radio. MPG stands for Media Planning Group. The firm is the media network for HAVAS, the global marketing communications giant. MPG assists its mainly blue-chip clients in media planning, buying, and consulting.

What are the top cities for Media Planner jobs?

Media planners who have the adequate work experience and qualifications can find employment opportunities in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and San Diego.

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