How to Become a Media Director

Media is a very vital part of the advertising industry. Media directors are trained professionals that manage planning groups that choose communication medias for a variety of advertising purpose.

What does a media director do?

Media directors coordinate the planning activities for a variety of different communication mediums such as newspapers, magazines, billboards, radio, television, and the Internet. They supervise the media department and manage and assess the media planning and purchasing needs of their clients. They conduct research and use statistical models to determine the type of advertising that best suits the clients’ needs based on the goals and budget. They regularly collaborate with media sales professionals and they pitch potential advertisements to clients. Media directors are also responsible for placing advertisements in communication outlets and following up with clients.

What kind of training does a media director need?

Media directors need at least a bachelor degree in advertising, marketing, or other related field. Many employers prefer candidates with at least 5 years experience in media planning and purchasing. Prospective media directors often complete courses in business administration, different types of media, media planning, statistics, and advertising. Many aspiring media directors complete internships while pursuing their education to gain practical experience in the field. Most employers provide some type of on the job training to enable media directors to learn the policies and procedures of the company. Media directors must keep their skills current and stay up to date on advancements in the field. They often complete continuing education and additional training throughout their careers.

What are the prospects for a career as a media director?

Employment of media directors is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2008 to 2018 (1). Technological advances and increased need for media services will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good with strong competition. Media directors with advanced education and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace media directors that retire, transfer, or leave the profession for other reasons.

How much do media directors make?

As of January 2010, the middle 50% of media directors earn annual salaries between $103,277 and $135,420. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $151,294 (2).

A career as a media director is a great choice for people with a strong interest in managing advertisements through a variety of media outlets. Media directors must have a strong understanding of the concepts of advertising and how to use many different media outlets. Detail orientation, creativity, good organizational skills, decisiveness, and ability to multi-task are necessary characteristics. Media directors must have excellent communication skills and be able to work with a wide variety of people such as other professionals and clients. They must be able to make effective decisions and be able to work under stress and pressure to meet strict deadlines.

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