In today’s highly technologically orientated society there are a number of communication industries which provide work for thousands of people across the globe. Such industries include radio, television, film, press / magazines, public relations, marketing and advertising. In this essay, I will construct a detailed career analysis report on advertising. I will focus on the structural organisation of the industry and how these differentiate from that of the public relations (PR) trade.
Outlining the types and range of employers associated with advertising, as well as the typical audiences and consumers, I will analyse current trends and provide insight concerning possible emerging ones and how these may affect future career patterns of those within the industry. With particular emphasis applied to the advent of the Digital Age and the current global financial crisis, I will explore ideas as to why various aspects of advertising are ever-changing, predominantly recruitment trends.
Finally, I will assess graduate entry opportunities and career paths and the nature of work experience available in the advertising industry. When addressing any aspect of the industry, we must first consider: what is advertising? “Advertising is a pervasive form of public communication with a great cultural impact. Its function is to stimulate and regularise consumption. Its responsibility is to private interests and not to the community. Its aim is to convert ‘audiences’ into ‘markets’ and its rhetoric is one of persuasion not information” (Richards, 2000: 54).
Advertising generally seeks to inform and convince potential customers through visual or oral messages to consume more of or be inclined towards a particular brand of product or service. It is communicated through various media platforms such as television, radio, the web, magazines, newspapers and outdoor advertising- on public transport and billboards. The marketing communications industry is comprised of four main groups: the media, the clients, the agencies and support organisations. (Fill, 2005: 64).
Interdependence exists between each, as cooperation is key if the system as a whole is to function adequately. Most clients take on the help of agencies regarding their communications in order to improve cost-effectiveness and efficiency, as agencies offer expertise in areas such as advertising and media. Advertising is an important component when it comes to promoting a marketing strategy, as it aids in communicating information to a target audience, potentially increasing ongoing sales.
As Ries and Ries (in Smith, 2004: 9) point out, “The purpose of advertising is not to build a brand, but to defend a brand once the brand has been built by other means, primarily public relations” (2002). Thus advertising must be presented along with other methods of supporting a business in order to find success. Advertising is an above the line technique as it is targeted at a mass audience through traditional media. Thus the structure and organisation of such a corporation is multifaceted and somewhat diverse from that of a comparable, more below the line PR company.