Careers in Media and Communications

 

In brief

Careers in media and communications are fast-paced, ever changing and technologically driven.

The boundaries between broadcast, film and interactive media are more blurred than ever before, with many companies now delivering services via a combination of media including television, mobile phones, offline multimedia and the internet. The impact of big data means that companies can personalise content and predict user behaviour in a way that is unprecedented.

The field is incredibly diverse and roles range from journalism and hands-on media production to strategy and advisory work for governmental organisations and corporate business. What all roles have in common is the desire to tell a compelling story that connects with its target audience to entertain, increase understanding, affect behaviour or bring about a change in attitude.  

Competition is fierce within the industry and there are few structured career paths. A willingness to work long hours and build experience and contacts is vital, as is demonstrating interest and commitment through internships and self-initiated projects.

Where can you work?

  • Media producers or publishers – across print, TV and online. Ranging from newspapers, e.g. The Guardian Media Group, and broadcasters such as the BBC and CNBC, to financial information providers, e.g. Thomson Reuters and specialist business-to-business publishers such as Euromoney.
  • ‘In-house’ communications and marketing teams – most organisations have a communications and marketing function. This can range in size from 1 or 2 people within a small NGO, to several hundred within a large multi-national company.
  • Communications or marketing agencies – provide services on behalf of their clients. Can be small and specialise in one area, such as finance, advertising, market research, consumer or public affairs, or larger and ‘full service’ or ‘integrated’, i.e. they work across more than one discipline. Typical employers include marketing consultancies, market research organisations, digital specialists, advertising and PR agencies.

What’s changing in the sector?

There has been a substantial decrease in the number of graduate schemes on offer in recent years, and a corresponding rise in freelance contracts.

Digital media has overtaken traditional media for the first time in terms of consumer spend. Funding online content and maintaining the quality and frequency of updates that are expected by consumers, are important preoccupations.

Globalisation, technology and digitalisation are also key issues affecting the industry. Entrants will need to develop knowledge about technical processes and be able to demonstrate multimedia awareness as well as knowledge of a more general commercial and legal nature.

Useful Websites

CareerHub – jobs board targeting LSE students, including events and networking opportunities.

Advertising, Marketing and Media in India – country profile based on destinations of LSE graduates.

Diagonal Thinking Self-assessment Tool – test designed to aid recruitment by assessing an individual’s ability to think both laterally and linearly.

Media

Media UK – online directory of contact details for newspapers, radio, magazines and television.

Creative Skillset – Sector Skills Council for Creative Media. Provides a specialist careers information, advice and guidance service.

Alumni profile – Helen Pang, Film Examiner at the BBFC.

Public affairs

Association of Professional Political Consultants – one-stop shop for UK Public Affairs practitioners.

Public Affairs Networking – public affairs, government relations, policy and communications networking and jobs.

Marketing

Brand Republic Jobs – a specialist jobs website advertising positions in the marketing industry.

Guardianjobs – the section of the Guardianjobs website dedicated to marketing and PR positions.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing – leading organisation for marketing and business development.

The Marketer – CIM magazine with news articles and features, plus jobs board.

EMR Recruitment – recruitment website with vacancies in marketing and communications.

Marketing Week – online marketing related news website with jobs database.

Public relations

PR Week – a useful site for keeping up-to-date with current news in the PR sector.

Institute of Public Relations – the blog is a good way of keeping up-to-date with latest issues and trends in PR industry.

Advertising

Institute of Practitioners in Advertising – trade and professional body for advertising, media and marketing communications agencies.

AdMission – website run by the IPA with careers information and a blog.

Useful Information

Routes in

Introduction

Being proactive in your job search is expected, so many media employees apply for roles using speculative applications. Media is hugely competitive, with most employees gaining work through word of mouth recommendations. Look at our advice about gaining valuable experience through creating your own media.

If you’re looking to gain experience

Getting your first job in the industry is undoubtedly the toughest step. Start building knowledge and experience while studying, e.g. with PuLSE FM or The Beaver. Find out more on the LSE Student Union Media site.

If you’re early on in your career

There are very few formal graduate recruitment or internship schemes in media, and informal work placements are the norm.

If you have more experience

It’s easier to secure roles with some valuable experience under your belt and a good network of contacts behind you. Moving from agency to ‘client’ side is common, particularly where you’ve built up expertise in a particular area.

If you’re changing career

Good contacts, expertise and appropriate technical skills will be essential. Consider a portfolio career, combining activities such as writing, acting in an advisory capacity or being a spokesperson, with other roles.

Not sure what to do next?

We’re here to talk over your career plans with you. It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at, so don’t feel you have to have it all worked out. You can book a one-to-one appointment with a careers consultant on CareerHub.

Job roles

There are a huge number of different job roles in this sector. We've outlined some of the ones likely to be of most interest to LSE students with links to where you can find more information. If you can, try and talk to someone who's doing the job you're interested in, so you get a real flavour of what it's like.

  • Journalism – a very popular career choice. Prospects job profiles provide further details on the roles of newspaper journalist, magazine journalist and press sub-editor.  Working as a sub-editor can be a useful way to gain experience in a newsroom, and web content writing can give you valuable technical skills and help you to develop a portfolio.
  • Media production– roles in TV and radio production are extremely sought after. An ability to seek out and tell a good story is key. The Prospects Television/film/video producer and Radio producer job profiles provide further details. Starting as a Runner is a common entry point, before progressing to the role of broadcast assistant.
  • Public relations and communications–manages the reputation of an organisation or company, and its products and services. Roles can be based ‘in-house’ or agency-side, wide-ranging or specialist, e.g. in public affairs or corporate communications. Entrants to the industry typically start at assistant/executive level before progressing to officer or manager. The Prospects Public relations account executive, Public relations officer and Public affairs consultant job profiles provide more information.
  • Publishing – the editorial department tends to be the most competitive area of the publishing industry. The typical entry-level role is editorial assistant, which involves administrative duties and liaison with other departments. Copy editors proofread manuscripts, check references and ensure corrections are made. Commissioning editor is the most sought-after editorial job. The Prospects Editorial assistant, Publishing copy- editor/proofreader and Commissioning editor job profiles are a useful resource. Other departments include rights and contracts, production, and publicity and marketing.
  • Marketing – finds out what customers want, then promotes and sells them the right products and services. Includes market research, product/service development, price setting, advertising, distribution and selling. Used by the public sector to promote services or campaigns, and by charities and interest groups to raise awareness, influence opinions or raise money. The Prospects Marketing executive job profile provides details of a typical starting role. Prospects also provides an overview of several other graduate marketing jobs.
  • Advertising – considered a 'sub-set' of marketing, typically handled by agencies. Creates campaigns for clients, identifying the target market, the message to be communicated, the best way to communicate it and how its effectiveness should be measured. The Prospects Advertising account executive job profile describes a typical entry level role. Other roles include Advertising account planner, Media Buyer, Advertising Art Director and Advertising copywriter

Twitter

LSE Careers LSECareers

Preparing for an interview? Get ready to ace all of the questions you may be asked by having a look at these tips a… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

12 hours ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

LSE Careers LSECareers

Cover letters can be tough to write - get some inspiration by looking at these examples written by real people and… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

15 hours ago

Reply Retweet Favorite