BUSINESS ENGLISH advanced

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Advertising & PR Industry

 

Advertising and public relations are like a microwave and a freezer: totally different, but they work together really well. In fact, many large advertising agencies offer PR services. Both industries deliver words and pictures, but what they really sell is intangibles, such as image and reputation. They are paid to persuade people: to buy goods or services, to vote for a political cause or candidate, or to invest in a company. They often base advertising or publicity campaigns on market research, which is typically gathered by independent companies that specialize in customer interviews, focus groups, and surveys.

 

In broad terms, an advertising agency is a marketing consultant. It helps the client (a manufacturer of consumer products like Nike, perhaps, or a service-oriented company like Charles Schwab & Co.) with all aspects of its marketing efforts—everything from strategy to concept to execution. Strategy involves helping the client make high-level business decisions, like what new products the client should develop or how the client should define or “brand” itself to the world. Concept is where the agency takes the client’s strategy and turns it into specific ideas for advertisements—such as a series of ads featuring extreme athletes for a soft-drink maker whose strategy is to make inroads in the teen market. Execution is where the agency turns the concept into reality—the production of the actual ads: the print layout, the film shoot, the audio taping. Full-service agencies also handle the placement of the ads in newspapers, magazines, radio, and so on—so that they reach their intended audience. Sometimes the agency works in conjunction with the client’s marketing department; other times—when the client doesn’t have a marketing department—the agency takes on that role.

 

But that’s only a strict definition of what people in advertising do. In broader terms, the industry includes everything from PR agencies (which try to place news items about clients in the media) to direct marketers (who send out all that annoying junk mail) to Internet advertising and design firms (which create pop-up or banner ads or design websites for clients). Many of the biggest and most successful agencies have units that focus on each of these activities.

 

PR firms, on the other hand, generally try to persuade media to publicize their messages as news. When they represent truly newsworthy clients, such as political candidates, getting publicity is easy, and the challenge is to put their client's spin on how a news item is presented in the media. When the client is less newsworthy, such as a company that wants publicity for its products without buying an ad, the job is more difficult. PR professionals write creative, and sometimes not so creative, press releases that dress up company messages as topical news, in the hope that it will be run as such on the front page or reported at the beginning of the evening news on television.

 

PR firms also provide services such as speech writing, ghost writing, investor relations, and damage control—the term for limiting bad publicity that results from misadventure: the plane that crashes, the car that bursts into flame, the pain pill that poisons people, the computer chip that can't add numbers correctly, the political candidate whose past catches up with him.

 

Trends

 

Consolidation

Like so many other industries, advertising and public relations firms have experienced a lot of consolidation in recent years, as companies join forces to lower costs and stay competitive in the global marketplace. In advertising, bigger size means more clout with media outlets, and therefore lower advertising costs. This trend is also a result of the fact that by owning several different advertising agencies, a single holding company can control several competing accounts without conflict of interest.

 

 

Account Planning

Account planning—also known as strategic planning—was developed in English ad agencies in the 1960s and 1970s. It took a while, but in recent years the American advertising industry has discovered account planning in a big way. Account planning is a discipline that aims at increasing understanding of the consumer. Today, account planning is such an integral part of many American ad agencies that it’s the account planners who do most of the strategizing on behalf of clients, rather than the account management staff.

 

Other New Media

The Internet is not the only new medium when it comes to advertising. It seems that people are jaded by the overload of ads in traditional media, like television or newspapers, and often won’t even pay attention to ads. As a result, advertisers are now trying to get your attention through nontraditional advertising media like the movies, where product placement has become a permanent part of business. Other nifty places where you can now see ads: on bus rooftops (ads atop buses reach the professional market that works in office towers, apparently) and at the bottom of golf holes. Beer ads have even begun to show up on disinfectant cakes in men’s room urinals, of all places.

 

Targeted Marketing

Computer databases let advertisers store detailed information about each of their customers. On-demand printing lets advertisers customize brochures to individual customers. E-mail and automated direct mailing let advertisers reach individual customers economically. So, for the first time, the advertising industry is learning how to create ads like smart bombs, capable of delivering a customized message to a precise target. That means that technological expertise is increasingly important within advertising agencies and, to a lesser extent, PR firms.

 

How It Breaks Down

 

Though boutique agencies are growing in number and revenue, the big names continue to handle most of the accounts—and earn most of the dollars. They also are the primary source of employment opportunities. In addition to the size of the firm, you'll need to think about its location, its client list, and the kind of advertising it does: branding vs. promotional, general vs. specific industries, all media versus specific media.

 

Big Global Networks

In the past decade, global has become the way to go. Several huge global marketing and media conglomerates now dominate the advertising industry. These include Omnicom, the WPP Group, the Interpublic Group, Cordiant, Havas, and Publicis Groupe. They are joined by advertising agencies that have expanded their operations by opening offices around the world and by acquiring other marketing and media companies. These include the Grey Global Group. Together, these firms own many of the major players in traditional and interactive advertising. Omnicom, for example, owns BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide, and TBWA Worldwide. Cordiant owns Bates Worldwide. Havas Advertising owns Euro RSCG Worldwide and Arnold Worldwide Partners. The WPP Group owns Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson. Interpublic owns McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Lowe (The Partnership), FCB Group, Deutsch, and Campbell-Ewald. And Publicis Groupe owns Publicis Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, and recently acquired Bcom3 Group, which owns Leo Burnett Worldwide and D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (the latter no longer exists under this name, but has been folded into Publicis).

 

In the old days, being big meant being corporate and account-driven. Though that’s still often the case, it’s not the rule it once was. One reason is that advertising has changed, with many advertisers now recognizing the value of catchy creative work. Another is that big companies now own what were until recently independent shops known for strong creative. Omnicom, for instance, owns Goodby Silverstein, and Interpublic owns the Lowe Group.

 

Smaller Shops

While a lot of hot shops have been snatched up by the big global holding companies, there are still plenty of smaller shops—some with as few as five employees. Often these are creative boutiques—agencies started by people from bigger agencies who have hung out their own shingle in order to follow their vision of what makes good advertising.

 

At smaller agencies, the boundaries between different departments are often not as pronounced as at larger agencies. While the staff at bigger agencies is divided by client, in a smaller agency people will often be working on several accounts at once. Mad Dogs & Englishmen in New York and Butler, Shine & Stern in Sausalito, California, are two of the hundreds of smaller shops.

 

Interactive Agencies

Interactive agencies specialize in online marketing and advertising. This includes everything from concepting, designing, and placing banner ads to designing corporate websites to developing e-commerce solutions for corporations. This segment of the industry has been devastated in recent times. As Corporate America cut back on advertising expenditures, online-ad click-through rates plummeted—resulting in dismal online-advertising revenues. But the segment looks to be on the rebound, as advertisers try out new online strategies with a newly realistic perspective on what advertising on the Internet can and cannot do.

 

Public Relations

Firms that specialize in providing PR services include Edelman, Ketchum PR, and Hill and Knowlton (owned by WPP). Internally, one difference between PR and ad agencies is that PR firms tend to organize themselves around practice areas, such as public affairs, investor relations, labor relations, crisis management, entertainment, media relations, consumer-product marketing, and corporate-reputation management. Smaller PR firms, like ad agencies, may specialize in a particular field, such as the Internet, health care, telecommunications, or consumer-product marketing.

 

Nonagency Opportunities

Beyond the traditional ad and PR agencies, there are a number of other job sources in this field. Research firms, such as IRI (Information Resources, Inc.), Nielsen (of TV-ratings fame), Gallup, and J.D. Powers all measure the success of agency campaigns. Other firms specialize in certain aspects of the advertising world, such as direct marketing or promotions. Although some of these are independent, others are owned by big players.

 

Also, large corporations usually have marketing communications (marcom) departments, which create and produce brochures, product sheets, and other so-called marketing collateral. Marcom departments also often write and distribute press releases and perform other PR functions. Typically, marcom work is not on the creative edge, but on the other hand, you won't lose your job if you can't come up with a brilliant idea every week.

 

Some corporations create and produce some or all of their own advertising. For example, Charles Schwab & Co. and MasterCard both have in-house ad departments. Usually, these will be more corporate in feel and will produce advertising that’s not as exciting as that of general agencies.

 

Job Prospects

 

The advertising industry has taken a big hit due to recent economic events, particularly the decline of the dot coms and the overall recession. Remember all those expensive dot-com Super Bowl ads from a few years back? A lot of those companies are no longer in business—and, like their more-traditional bricks-and-mortar Corporate America cousins, those that are still around are much less willing to plunk down millions of dollars on advertising.

 

The ad and PR industries are going through a difficult cycle currently, and as a result, jobs in the industry are scarce. Add in the fact that it’s exceedingly difficult to start in this industry in anything but an entry-level position, and you end up with a whole lot of competition for relatively few low-paying jobs. So, if you want to work in advertising, be prepared to start at the bottom and work your contacts to get interviews. While some of the bigger agencies do recruit on campus for entry-level account-management hires, most entry-level hires are not recruited. The easiest routes into the marketing and business side of advertising are entry-level media positions and administrative assistant positions. They don’t pay that well and they involve lots of grunt work, but you’ll get a chance to show your stuff and get promoted. If you’re a creative, you can’t get a job in advertising without a book of your work. For entry-level copywriting or art-direction positions, this means designing and producing mock advertisements.

 

The first thing job seekers should know about advertising: It isn't easy to break into, and it doesn't pay well when you start. Second, expect to work in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, or Los Angeles, where the biggest agencies are headquartered. In PR, too, you'll typically start at the bottom (an internship is a favorite way to break into the industry), and you probably won't make a huge salary to start, but the work can be interesting and rewarding.

 

·         Focus group = a group of consumers brought together to give opinions about products, adverts etc.

·         (Market) survey = a study of the state of the market.

·         Account = customer who does a large amount of business with a firm and has an account.

·         Press Release = sheet giving news about something which is sent to newspapers and TV and radio stations so they can use the information

·         Speech writing = scrierea discursurilor

·         Ghost writing = the writing of a book or a story for another person who then says it is their own work

·         Investor relations = the relations with investors – the person who gives money to a company, business or bank in order to get profit

·         Holding company = companie holding / a company which owns more than 50 % of the shares in another company / company which exists only or mainly to own shares in subsidiary companies (Am. Proprietary company)

·         Strategic planning = previziune strategică / planning the future work of a company

·         Boutique – agency =  agenţie tip boutique (de mici dimensiuni)

·         Marketing collateral = auxiliare de marketing

·         Dot coms = a company that primarily does business via the Internet

 

 

Inroads = atac, năvală

Take on = a-şi asuma

Pop-up = care sare, se mişcă rapid / a book, card, toaster etc that is designed to make something suddenlz spring out of it.

Newsworthy = important or interesting enough to be reported as news

Spin = a way of providing information that makes it seem to be favourable for a particular person or political party

Topical news = ştiri de actualitate

Report = a face un reportaj

To be run = a circula, a ţine, a apărea în ziar

Misadvanture = accident, moarte accidentală

To catch up with = a ajunge din urmă pe cineva

Clout = puterea sau autoritatea de a influenţa decizia altora

Media outlets = piaţă de desfacere media

Jaded = istovit, epuizat

Nifty = grozav, straşnic

Ads atop = reclame pe acoperişuri

Men’s room urinals = closet

On-demand printing = tipărituri la cerere

Customize = to lok special or unique

To a lesser extend = într-o mai mică măsură

Revenue = venit

Fold up = if an organization folds or folds up it closes becose it does not have enough money to continue

Snatched up by = a fi apucat, înhăţat

To hung up your own shingle = to start your own business, especially as a doctor or a lawyer

Cut back = a micşora, a reduce

Click-trough = care se accesează prin click-ul mouse-lui computerului

Rates = cotaţii

Plummet = to suddenly and quickly go down in value or amount

To be on the rebound = a-şi reveni

Come up with = a concepe, a veni cu ceva (o idee)

In-house = interior

Due to = datorită

To plunk down = a arunca

Bricks-and-mortar corporates = “clădiri”, companiile care îşi desfăşoară activitatea în mod tradiţional

Add in = a adăuga

Currently = în prezent, acum

Exceedingly = grozav de, extrem de, foarte

Hires = slujbă, angajare

Grunt work = the hard, uninteresting part of a piece of work (donkey-work)

Mock = model, simulare

Mock-up = model of a new product for testing or to show to possible buyers

Internship =  poziţie internă

Rewarding = plin de satisfacţii

 

 

Advertising

 

Ads seem to be everywhere: filling magazines, on billboards lining the road, and showing up at regular intervals on television. Their object: to market and sell goods and services. According to Ad Age, a trade magazine, companies spent close to $80 billion dollars on advertising in 1998.

 

Careers in advertising can be lucrative. You might go into the business side of account or account planning; the creative side, where you'll create ads (many people interested in visual arts, design—particularly graphic design—and editorial and writing careers join ad agencies as creatives) or media planning or production. Some people interested in advertising may find they prefer public relations, where you'll have a similar goal, though your means will be quite different.

 

An advertising agency is a marketing consultant. It helps a client—a manufacturer of consumer products such as Nike, or a service-oriented company such as Charles Schwab & Co.—with its marketing efforts, from strategy to concept to execution.

 

Strategy involves helping a client make high-level business decisions, such as how to brand a new line of suntan lotions. The agency takes a client's strategy and turns it into a specific concept for advertisements—such as a series of ads featuring extreme athletes for a soft-drink maker with a strategy of making inroads in the teen market.

 

Execution is where an agency turns a concept into reality—the production of actual ads: the print layout, the Web design, the film shoot, or the audiotaping. Execution also involves placing the ads—buying space in newspapers, on television, or in subway stations.

 

Account-driven agencies' ads usually focus on product benefits, while creative agencies' ads focus on brand image. As a result, account-driven agencies end up with accounts such as Energizer batteries, for which an "Energizer Bunny" campaign extolled the product's long life. Creative agencies end up with accounts where lifestyle or image is more important, such as Old Navy, which uses retro clothing styles to connect with its teen and twenty-something market.

 

Advertisers play a role in shaping the ads that shape our culture. The work you do will be determined partly by the type of agency you're in and your role within it. You'll work in one of five departments—account management, account planning, media, production, or creative.

 

Account management is the clients' primary contact. There you'll juggle a number of projects, and ensure that they come in on time, on budget, and on strategic target.

 

In account planning, you'll try to understand consumer behavior and use your knowledge to devise strategies for clients.

 

Media decides where to place ads, and in which medium—radio, television, print, or Web—when, and for how long.

Production involves physical creation of the ads, either in-house or outsourced. If you're a creative, you'll be responsible for turning strategies into concepts that can be made into finished ads—for example, showing well-dressed people driving up to a discount store to highlight a change in product selection.

 

Creative departments also create storyboards—cartoon-style summaries of what an ad will contain.

 

Some larger agencies contain traffic departments to handle the flow of projects between departments; new-business departments, which keep track of possible new clients and gather resources in preparation for pitches; and public relations departments, which direct publicity programs.

 

To succeed in advertising, you need to be creative, organized, motivated, good with people, tactful, culturally aware, decisive, resilient, and able to handle deadlines and stress. You'll also have to be able to work individually and in a team environment, understand buying and selling patterns, understand and incorporate technology, and appreciate creativity.

 

For a career in account planning, you'll also have to be capable of carrying out qualitative and quantitative research. Good media planners are detail-oriented, good at math, and have a thorough understanding of marketing. On the creative side, you've got to be able to handle pressure and deal with the frustration of having clients who may not understand or appreciate your creative vision.

 

 

Lucrative = profitabil

Suntan lotion = loţiune pentru bronzat

Extol = a preţui foarte mult

Juggle = a jongla

Devise = a inventa a plănui / to plan or invent a way of doing something, especially something complicated and clever

Pitches = to try to make a business agreement, or to sell something by saying how good it is

Sales pitch = what a person says about a product to persuade people to buy it

Resilient = rezistent

 

 

Public Relations

 

 "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers," said the historian, Daniel J. Boorstin. His point? In public relations, your job is to make your client seem great without anybody knowing you were trying.

 

Of course, those in PR do more than make their clients seem great. They speak on behalf of client organizations; help mitigate harmful publicity when, for instance, the federal government sues a client for, say, antitrust violations; and generally represent a client to the media in order to get the most favorable publicity possible. You might think of PR as a specialized area of marketing and akin to advertising, which incorporates a similar client-oriented structure. And in many sectors it's a fast-growing field.

 

PR, which is also known as communications, is all about relating (or communicating) to the public—a relationship generally mediated by the press. Unlike an advertising agency, a PR agency communicates a company's message to the press, rather than directly to the client's target market. The objective in PR is to use the press to reach the target market because, when mediated by a supposedly objective third party, the message will become more powerful.

 

Because of their role in generating media coverage, PR professionals are sometimes thought of as disingenuous, deceitful, hucksterish flacks trying simultaneously to pull the wool over the eyes of their clients and the public at large. That's inaccurate. The fact is, in today's business world, every company, CEO, celebrity, and association wants to show the best possible face to the public, and all of them are using public relations to do so.

 

PR serves those fighting to legalize medical marijuana, as well as the Internet start-up seeking funding from investors. Michael Jordan consults with PR pros to figure out how he can best maintain his image; so does Intel, seeking to maintain its image. When you read something in the newspaper about the phone company, it's likely that a PR pro was behind the scenes, either pitching the story or furnishing the reporter with statistics to write it.

 

Day to day, PR pros "pitch" story ideas to reporters, trying to elicit coverage of subjects important to their clients. They also serve as company spokespeople, plan and hold events intended to generate publicity, and develop strategies that will spark media interest. An actress's appearance at an awards ceremony wearing nothing but a potholder, for instance, could be a PR ploy to get her in the papers—a well-considered one, perhaps, if the woman happens to be Madonna, but less effective if the woman is Nancy Reagan.

 

Usually, you'll spend much of your day working with the media. You'll make phone calls, issue press releases, and plan events. Reporters will complain, perhaps, but in a world glutted with information, they rely on public-relations practitioners for information they don't have the time or budget to gather themselves.

 

Those with more experience in PR will write speeches, strategize the best time to announce a new product, work alongside an advertising agency to position products in the mind of the public, develop and publish newsletters, and manage crises, endeavoring to put a positive spin on events for a client organization. And along with representing the client to the public, PR practitioners will represent the public to the client, helping the client understand what the public wants, needs, and is concerned about.

Those who do well in PR have strong communication skills, are articulate both with the written and spoken word, are able to understand a variety of people, are confident, and quick studies—you'll need to learn quickly what your clients do in order to communicate their messages effectively. PR professionals should also be quick thinkers and persuasive.

 

While there are some behind-the-scenes opportunities such as research that could accommodate introverted types, most jobs in the PR field require assertiveness and an outgoing personality. One insider says that if you know you're shy, PR probably isn't the best career choice for you. A public relations professional who is afraid of the public won't be able to represent his or her clients authoritatively.

 

 

Mitigate = to make a situation or the effects of something less unpleasant, harmful, or serious

Antitrust (violations) = which attacks monopolies and encourages competition

Akin to = foarte asemănător cu

Huckster(ish) = someone who uses very strong, direct selling methods, sometimes dishonest

Flack = strong criticism

To pull the wool over the eyes of somebody = to deceive someone by not telling the truth

Elicit = to succeed in getting information or a reaction from someone, especially when it is difficult

Spark = a stârni interesul cuiva în ceva

Potholder = a piece of thick material used for holding hot cooking pans

Ploy = a clever method of getting an advantage, especially by deceiving someone

Issue = a emite

Glutted = încărcat, plin de

Practitioners = someone who regularly does a particular activity

Endeavor = a încerca din greu

Assertive(ness) = behaving in a confident way so that people notice you

Authoritative(ly) = în mod autoritar, plin de încredere şi care impune respect

Outgoing = liking to met and talk to new people

 

 

Account Management

 

Account management combines sales with customer service. Account management professionals work with clients to ensure they’re getting the most out of the products and services their employers sell—and to persuade clients to continue to do business (preferably more and more business) with their employers over time. In high tech as well as in more traditional manufacturing industries, this means making sure that clients are happy with your company’s products. And many service-oriented businesses such as advertising and public relations agencies provide similar support to their customers.

 

What You'll Do

Account management acts as a liaison between a company and its clients. Account managers work closely with customers to determine the customers' needs. Then they make sure their company develops products or services to meet those requirements.

 

You can think of account managers as corporate jugglers. They create budgets and schedules, enforce deadlines, and explain clients' agendas to their staffs and management. They also identify and solicit new customers.

 

Account managers coordinate everything and everyone. They make sure no details fall through the cracks. Clients can depend on them to protect their interests.

 

Account managers keep a careful eye on projects in development. They let customers know how their accounts are progressing and are the first to hear about problems. When something blows up—such as when deadlines aren’t met or, in the advertising industry, when a client hates what the agency’s creatives have put together—they do their best to smooth things over and maintain a good working relationship.

 

Account managers work in many different industries. Examples include employment agencies, consultant firms, Web-design companies, and advertising and public relations firms. Any company that serves other businesse

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