Advertising is so pervasive in everything around us, it’s hard to imagine there’s much forethought and planning involved. But there is.
Media placement is all about connecting the right people with the right message in the right place at the right time.
So says Colette Brochu, co-ordinator of Centennial College’s new advertising media management program — the first of its kind aimed at creating specialists in strategic media planning and buying.
“The advertising industry is demanding that graduates be trained in research and analysis,” says Brochu. “There’s so much money spent on advertising, clients want to be assured their placements are effective.”
Centennial’s one-year program is hands-on, intensive and industry-approved, providing students with a focus on consumer-driven communication channel choices for advertising.
As the media world becomes more complex with the convergence of print, broadcast and online media, buying and planning advertising is an increasingly specialized skill that requires knowledge of target clients, consumer behaviour, the media and the criteria used to measure marketing activities.
“Media is constantly evolving. There are new outlets all the time — such as transit television and cellphone content — that didn’t even exist five years ago,” says Brochu.
Centennial’s graduate certificate program is intended for college and university grads who may have worked in the field or who have an interest in advertising. Brochu says prospective students should be detail-oriented and have a panache for numbers.
“You’re researching media usage and audiences, so it’s heavily numbers focused,” says Brochu. But she doesn’t want to characterize the work as merely number crunching with no creative outlet.
“You have to put those numbers into perspective to yield a better informed decision about media buys. There’s an element of creative thinking involved.”
Brochu says job prospects for graduates are very good, especially in media-saturated Toronto.
“Media buying is often the most common entry-level job at advertising agencies since it is so labour intensive. For many people who want to get their foot in the door of the industry, this is the route to take.”
Centennial’s program includes a 15-week field placement arranged with the assistance of the college. Students get to work at an agency or research company doing real tasks for real clients.
Brochu, a 16-year veteran of the industry herself, says media buying is a fascinating area to work in because of the evolving nature of media and the opportunity to influence advertising campaigns.
“It’s gratifying to be in charge of large marketing budgets. You help ensure all that hard work doesn’t go to waste.”
The new advertising media management program is accepting applications for classes starting in fall 2008. Centennial also offers a one-year specialty in advertising account management and a three-year postsecondary program in advertising. For more information, please visit www.centennialcollege.ca/future/ccc_index.jspor e-mail Colette Brochu at firstname.lastname@example.org.