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How Do I Get into Television Advertising?

Laura M. Sands
Laura M. Sands

You may get into television advertising by first obtaining formal training at a college or university. Most people who take this route major in public relations or marketing. In addition to obtaining a degree in a media-related field, you may also access the industry by interning with one or more established professionals. Some people also learn to work in television advertising through on-the-job training while working in a company’s media department in a supportive staff position.

While creating marketing campaigns is a large part of television advertising, it is not the only position available within the TV advertising industry. You may also choose to work in TV advertising sales. A college degree is often preferred for such a position, but is not always necessary. Most important is the ability to sell advertising space to create revenue for television networks, specific television shows, and the ability to understand consumer viewing and purchasing habits to increase sales.

A retro television.
A retro television.

Corporate advertising represents the most dominant presence within television advertising. You may also get into television advertising, however, by starting with your community television station, which will likely deal with advertising community events, special charities and non-profit organizations. As with business advertising, a formal education may be necessary to obtain a position with a community television station. Most stations do, however, also offer volunteer and internship opportunities that you can access without a great deal of outside training.

If you have sufficient training and experience, and your primary interest is breaking into product marketing, diligently search your local newspaper for television advertising positions in your area. Also, use national job websites to apply for positions in other areas. At the same time, research various agencies that specialize in TV promotions and contact several of them to inquire about possible job opportunities.

In addition to training and experience, some of the natural attributes that may help you get into television advertising include a natural curiosity about people and, in particular, other cultures. It also helps to have an interest in fashion trends, current events, new media and a knack for attracting the attention of others. Creative, outside-the-box thinking is widely valued among television advertising professionals, as is the ability to communicate new ideas clearly. A persuasive personality and being able to work well with others is equally important to establishing yourself as a professional within the advertising industry as a whole.

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    • A retro television.
      By: AKS
      A retro television.