Steps for an advertising consultant to follow to the Web.
Dear Molly: I work for an advertising agency, helping to create ads and present campaigns to clients. My company hasn’t made the move into doing anything on the Web, but customers keep asking about Web advertising. I think it’s a big part of the future and, although I don’t know anything about it, I want to learn. What’s the best way to do that? How can I get a job with an advertising agency that is doing something with the Web?
Molly says: You’ve got the advertising background, but now you need to learn more about the Web and what’s happening with Web advertising. So, learn first, then start looking for another job. Take a few days off and spend that time at an interactive/Web advertising conference. Sit and soak in all the information, but make sure to take note of any presenters or exhibitors that you find particularly interesting. Later, when you start your job search, you can approach these people and companies to see what positions are available in their firm.
Subscribe to all the trade publications and business computer publications you can that cover the topic of Web advertising from any angle. Read a few good books on the subject–Patricia Seybold, author of “Customers.com,” has a thorough understanding of what’s going on in this area. Al and Laura Ries have written several books on Internet branding, so check those out, too.
You may also find it helpful to take a short course in creating a Web site. You wouldn’t be doing the technical work in your job, but taking the course would give you a greater appreciation for that part of the process.
Don’t forget about networking–if you don’t already do it, start attending all the trade events you can and keep an eye and ear open for other ad agencies that are already working with Web advertising.
Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at firstname.lastname@example.org.