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An Aspirant’s Entry Into The Advertising And Public Relations Industry

By Expert Author: Papiya Tahiliani

What is Advertising?
Advertising is the process of creating positive imagery for a product or service so that the brand becomes salient in the consumer’s mind. It can make the difference between business success and failure. It is a cost-efficient way of telling buyers what is for sale and what the product’s features are. At the very least, it seeks to persuade someone who is in the market for a given product or service to consider a particular brand. And it employs some of the brightest and most creative economists, researchers, artists, producers, writers, and business people in the country today.

Why Study Advertising?
Think you can come up with better ads than the ones airing on TV? How about successfully managing the rollout of new products and working to improve their perception by the media? You suit the advertising or public relations’ industry if these possibilities interest you. The core activity is to take a product — whether it’s Coca Cola or the latest Transformers film — and construct promotional campaigns that get people excited about them. Advertising and PR firms help companies, non-profits and governments manage everything from speeches, to the look of brochures, and to major crises.

Advertising Career Possibilities
Advertising agencies handle a broad range of marketing tasks requiring people with experience and ability in overall management and specialized skills. In all agencies, the jobs usually fall into five categories:

• Account Management
The responsibility of the account manager is to be the client’s representative at the agency, and the agency’s representative at the client’s organization. It is his or her job to get the best possible work from the agency for the client-but at a profitable return for the agency.

• Account Planning
Essentially, account planners make sure the consumer’s perspective is fully considered when advertising is developed. The account planner works to continually focus and re-focus the agency’s strategic and creative thinking on the consumer, helping the team—particularly the creatives—understand what "turns the consumer on".

• Creative
The creative department of an advertising agency is responsible for developing the ideas, images, and words that make up commercials and ads. Entry-level positions may include a Junior or Assistant Copywriter who assists one or more copywriters in editing and proofreading ad copy, writing body copy for established print campaigns, and developing merchandising and sales promotion materials.

• Media
The media department of an advertising agency is responsible for placing advertising where it will reach the right people at the right time and in the right place and do so in a cost-effective way. Planning and buying media at an advertising agency is exciting and challenging because ways of communicating are constantly changing and becoming more complex. Entry-level position can be an Assistant Media Planner.

About the Author

An XLRI graduate, Papiya Tahiliani is a career advertising professional, who has spent 17 years in the advertising industry across agencies like Ogilvy, JWT (then HTA), Contract, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis Capital and Aircel. She is now the Course Director of the Advertising & Public Relations Course at Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication.

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