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Interview with the Marketing Professional Cheryl Roberts
The monitoring of new media advertising is a significant part of Cheryl Roberts’ role as the marketing and advertising director of the Parenting New Hampshire. The publication is issued monthly by the McLean Communications (Parenting NH). Roberts is a graduate of the Keene State College and received her bachelor's degree in Journalism. Subsequently, she tapped into her experience in ad sales at the college newspaper level and landed a media position outside the college in the sale of ad space for the local cable network. She is a consistently recognized performer and has increasing experience in the newspaper advertising sales, as well as account management in the computer industry (Sorokina). Additionally, she has a stint as the admissions director at a technical college in New Hampshire, where she managed a group of educational sales representatives and established branding programs to promote the school. In her present position at the Parenting New Hampshire, she aims to achieve the magazine’s advertising goals, as well its niche in events and publications. Moreover, she focuses on the development and management of both outside and inside advertisements while creating new sponsorship partnerships. Roberts has enjoyed various aspects of her career in advertising, which include the creativity associated with the profession. Nevertheless, her active involvement in the success of other peoples’ firms through effective advertisements is one of her most rewarding experiences (Sorokina).
Background & Career Path
Roberts studied journalism and public affairs, which involve the writing and making of news. After her graduation, she attempted to join the local cable network but the only job opening was at the ads sales’ department. She, therefore, settled for the ad sales because she realized the position brought her adequate money and excellent working hours. In contrast, her friends in the editorial section worked day and night and, therefore, she decided to continue running the advertising department. Subsequently, she began working for the Portsmouth Herald and gained significant interest in the marketing section. Soon, her experience as a marketing professional proved valuable for the newspaper, where she offered advice on how a business should effectively market itself to the public. Several years later, she started working for the Parenting New Hampshire, where her marketing experience continues to increase markedly. In her profession, Roberts works with businesses such as the toy stores. She also deals with kindergartens and the clowns who attend kid's birthday parties. In the role, she manages seven sales representatives, one ad manager, and two graphic artists. Since New Hampshire has numerous elementary schools, Roberts’ primary objective is to make the Parenting New Hampshire an entirely statewide publication and increase its distribution in all the State’s elementary schools.
Her typical day at the company includes reading emails, organizing various activities with her team, examining ad specs and performing the required follow-up. At mid-day, she typically calls on new accounts and makes reports on the status of the different ads as the day ends. Her primary responsibility, however, involves the follow-up activities and the handling of various accounts from ad inception to the placement and printing of the ads (Sorokina).
The month of August is often a favorable period for the Parenting magazine because it is the company’s back to school edition. Every year, the firm’s advertising goal is often set at a percentage higher than the previous year. However, the newspaper advertising is exceedingly losing popularity due the growth of the internet industry. Despite the competition from the internet, the Parenting publication continues to thrive and draw acclaim from the different elementary schools in New Hampshire. Roberts, therefore, takes pride in being a key contributor to the magazines’ success. The primary setback in Roberts’ career, nevertheless, occurred when she was working for the Portsmouth Herald newspaper. At that time, the economy was cracking following the 9-11 incident and the people were afraid of spending (Amadeo). In addition, there were minimal emerging businesses and an increasing number of firms were closing down.
In the future, Roberts’ goal is to own a publication or become the publisher of one of the subsidiaries of Telegraph. However, she would prefer to own and operate a New Hampshire-based magazine that focuses on the welfare of children. Her goal is motivated by the current absence of publications that address the needs of the 5 to 15-year-olds.
Roberts is a member of various professional advertising groups such as the Parenting Publications of America. Such membership has been significant in her career because it allows her to interact with other marketing experts in a non-competitive environment. The organizations promote the sharing of different ideas and, hence, the improvement of the advertising profession. Roberts’ first hiring manager, Derek Wood, has served as her primary source of inspiration in her career. Woods, who had worked in the newspaper industry since the age of five, hired Roberts when he was in his late 60s.
During the interview, Roberts pointed out that the primary factor enhancing success in advertising is the ability to communicate effectively. Thus, one should write and think like an advertiser, and present one’s business effectively to the public. Her education helped her to acquire such skills and gain a typical business sense. As a student, she enjoyed her experience in a 4-yr liberal arts school, which she needed to develop educationally and socially. In retrospect, however, she wishes that she had focused more on the skills she would use later in her advertising career. She believes that she would have achieved even greater heights had she attended a career-focused school.
Roberts adds that her education has been crucial to her advertising profession. For example, it has provided her with the groundwork to communicate and make effective presentations in various capacities. Moreover, her schooling years allowed her to develop a network of useful friends. For example, her advertising counterpart in the newspaper department was her college roommate. Roberts worked for her school’s newspaper as an editor, as well as columnist. Her support came primarily from the business, as well as the marketing classes, which taught her how and why to brand oneself. She also learned to select effective advertisements and understand her target audience.
There are various factors that prospective students should consider when searching for an advertising program. However, they should focus on a program that provides a career placement after graduation. The potential students should also examine the faculty critically and get more information about the journalism advisors and professors in the program. They should find out whether the instructors have been recognized and worked in the field for a significant period.
There are also different considerations for the prospective students who know their future area of specialization. Advertising is typically broad and depends on the aspect that interests the potential student. For example, one can become a graphics designer, accounts manager, or marketing strategist. If one is artistic but lacks significant social skills, one may select areas in graphics and web design to avoid dealing directly with the public. In contrast, a person inclined to the public may consider working in the marketing and management aspects of the business. In such areas, the prospective student should be ready to function as the face of the company, whether at the newspaper, the ad agency or the Internet end of the business. An advertiser wishing to work on the front end will need to have an artistic sense and creativity, but should be comfortable in allowing others to deliver.
The prospective advertising students can assess their aptitude and skills by examining magazines, websites, and other aspects that interest them in the field of advertising. The most efficient way to become productive in advertising, however, is to assume the consumer’s position and find the most appealing characteristics of a particular business.
The most significant advice that Roberts offers to the potential marketing students is to remain aware of the changing media popularity. For example, her business concentrates on ad design in print, as well as TV and radio. Nevertheless, many people currently receive their information from the Internet due to the increasing internet marketing (Hill). Hence, it is useful to make predictions regarding the media that most people will utilize for information purposes in the next five years. Potential students, therefore, should embrace the advances in technology and attempt to predict the future changes in technology. Such an approach will allow the prospective students to make useful decisions that will be supported and not hurt by the future technological advances.
Roberts observes that communication skills are crucial to achieving success in the ads management. The expert needs an excellent understanding of marketing and design in relation to branding. In design, one needs to understand the state-of-the-art programs such as Adobe and In Design. Moreover, one should know Quark and how to create PDF files. Principally, the marketing professionals should understand the technical aspects of advertising. Such persons should also realize that an excellent advertisement involves an active and unique communication of a particular idea to the target population. The skills of making such ads, therefore, are crucial to the success in advertising.
The trends that could help the advertising students in making useful plans include the awareness of the aspects to seek on the Internet. The students should be attentive to their banner ads and read spam emails because such elements constitute the active marketing strategies. As such, they should be aware of the advertising aspects that they disregard easily.
Advertising professionals typically employ specialized computer programs such as MS Word, MS Outlook, and MS PowerPoint. Hence, it is essential for the graduating students to be well-versed in such programs (Bort). The students should learn to use Outlook planner and Excel in order to manage various accounts and commissions. Additionally, they need the skills of creating presentations and documents for their customers. It is also significant to have a primary familiarity with the Internet to enhance the search for information concerning the potential advertisers.
In the publishing business, one may view the popularity of the Internet as a threat or incorporate it into one’s commercial activities. For example, the Internet can complement a publication, enhance its circulation, and drive the readers from the paper to the website. Consequently, the Internet ameliorates the speed of sending information to the various target individuals and increases the scope of the paper that had previously been reaching only the older audience.
Advertising and marketing are crucial to the success of any firm. A career in advertising, therefore, is significant for the prospective students that wish to pursue a business career. Additionally, the internet has established new avenues for increasing the advertising opportunities. Nevertheless, advertising requires skills in communication in order to promote a business effectively to the target audience. Moreover, one should have proficiency in programs such as MS Word and MS PowerPoint to enhance the advertising process. However, the advertising career is still not widely considered by the prospective students. It is important, therefore, to increase the awareness of this profession, particularly, among the business-oriented students.
Background & Career Path
How is your advertising career?
Describe a typical day in your workplace. What are your primary responsibilities?
What is your paramount achievement and setback in the ad sales?
You are a member of various professional advertising organizations, such as the Parenting Publications of America. Tell me how your membership has been significant in your career?
Who has been your biggest inspiration in the profession?
Roles & Responsibilities
Tell me about your education in advertising. What were your likes and dislike?
How has your education brought benefits to your career?
What factors should be considered by the prospective advertising students?
Are there different considerations for the potential students who know that they want to specialize in a particular area?
How can the prospective advertising students assess their aptitude and skill?
What additional advice can you give to the prospective marketing and advertising students?
On a fundamental level, what skills does a successful career in marketing and advertising require?
What are the trends that could help advertising students in planning for the future?
Do advertising experts typically utilize specialized computer software? If so, how essential is it for the graduating students to have excellent skills in such programs?
Has the Internet popularity affected your advertising profession?
Amadeo, Kimberly. “How the 9/11 Attacks Still Affect the Economy Today.” US Economy, 4 Jan. 2015. Web. 25 March 2015.
Bort, Julie. “Even Google Hasn't Completely Ditched Microsoft Office For Google Apps.” Business Insider, 27 Dec. 2012. Web. 25 March 2015.
Hill, Kashmir. “Use Of Ad Blocking Is On The Rise.” Forbes, 21 Aug. 2013. Web. 25 March 2015.
Parenting NH. “About Parenting New Hampshire.” McLean Communications, 2015. Web. 24 March 2015.
Sorokina, Julia. “Marketing as a Profession, Cheryl Roberts.” Prezi, 10 Dec. 2013. Web. 23 March 2015.
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