Media Specialist: Four Steps to Getting the Career

A media specialist encompasses a variety of job titles, from marketing to public relations. The key to this profession is being very smart about sociology and business. In order to be a successful marketer, you have to understand your market. In order to communicate effectively, you have to understand what people want to listen to. The same goes for the popular media professions today, such as advertising, public relations, marketing and online business. Success in this business starts with the knowledge, which means finding a major and degree program that places students with media jobs. Companies want to stand out from the crowd, and that's where a successful media professional can thrive. Whether you want to get into the industry of advertising, public relations or marketing, these are some steps to get you there.

1. Picking a Path

In some sense, PR, advertising and marketing are all in the same line of work. It's about promotion, it's about communication, and it's about people—specifically what they want or don't want. Behind every successful professional, there's an advertising campaign, public relations specialist, or marketer. However, each profession has different specialties that makes them different. In a PR degree program, it's all about communication skills, sociology and creativity. You have to know how to speak and how to deliver a message, while also being able to multi-task and come up with creative solutions for issues that face clients. As for advertisers, they work with graphics, video, sound and any other form of digital media, to get people excited about a product and thinking of the best to deliver that product, such as through radio, Internet, television or another venue. Marketers are the statistics behind everything. They deal with research and studies, finding the focus groups and strategies to make a product or company appeal to its audience.

2. Getting the Degree

Most media professionals start out in bachelor's degree programs, whether working in marketing or public relations. Others choose to major in graphic design, communications, or sociology. With a minor in marketing or business, you can translate into a variety of positions within any media field. It's important to also look at master's degree programs that relate to marketing and business, specifically if you are in public relations or advertising. You should be able to understand the intricacies of each field to help your clients and companies.

3. Create a Resume or Portfolio

You'll need to create a "book," basically a self-marketing tool. It's like a resume, but it's also a portfolio of your previous experience and work. As an advertiser or marketer, this is essential, as you need to be able to prove you can do the work and be creative, as well as show off statistic and demographic information. Resume just goes without saying. To get any job in the media field, you'll need to have some experience to start off with. That means finding your own work while still in college, taking on internships and if you're lucky, getting a paid position somewhere to start while still earning your degree.

4. The Final Step: Getting the Job

A major part about landing a job nowadays is who you know, but you don't have to be the son or daughter of someone special to know anybody. You have to be able to network and find positions that speak to you online. It's important that you don't look just to job searches for this kind of information. You should be social networking as much as possible, friending and following those who are the industry, who own the types of businesses that you want to work with. It may be a small job that gets you started, something local, something for a little business or something for a family business, but you have to be able to start somewhere. Self-marketing is a major part of getting a position in this industry, so be sure that you're accessing all of what's available to you, such as video marketing, online networking, and local community outreach.