Editor’s note: “Media Spotlight” is an ongoing series where we interview the wide range of professionals that make up our growing office. From the traditional media planners to our digital buyers, you’ll gain insight into the many levels that make up Media Works Ltd. This week we interview Senior Media Buyer, Julie Block-Padden
How long have you been in media?
A long time! I started in 1988 out of college with Macy*s in New York City. They had an in-house advertising department at that time for all their stores. I started out buying and negotiating print for the store in Albany NY. I moved my way up the ladder into bigger markets and into broadcast and magazine buying then became a manager and eventually the Media Director managing the media buying and planning department. It was really a great start to my career since Macy*s was such a heavy advertiser and I was exposed to all media and so many markets. They didn’t separate the planning and buying departments like most major agencies so I was fortunate to learn both. I moved to Baltimore and after having a baby I started at Media Works – I’m going on 10 years here!
Can you describe a day in your life at Media Works?
My days are spent working on various plans and buys for the clients I handle or managing the media schedules I’ve placed. The day may include preparing a media plan or recommendation, negotiating rates, placing buys or attending client meetings or meetings with the media vendors we work with.
What are some of the challenges of your position?
It is challenging to stay abreast of everything happening in the industry. Over the years the landscape has become more fragmented and there are so many ways to reach our client’s potential customers. We need to be aware of how customers are consuming media and find the most cost efficient methods to reach them and deliver our client’s message.
What is your all-time favorite ad campaign?
I can’t say I have a favorite. But so many times you see or hear an ad and you can remember the context of it but not the advertiser. I think an effective campaign will have recall in both – you remember the campaign and the product or advertiser.
What advice would you offer someone looking to get into the industry?
I learned a lot in the early days of my career by listening to others more experienced than me and by asking questions. I also read a lot of trade articles and still try to. Now the digital space is expanding at such a rapid pace that anyone starting out should learn as much as they can and personally use some of the social media that is out there to become familiar with it.