Marketing coordinator

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Meg, mid 20s

What does a marketing coordinator do?

Meg, a marketing coordinator at a Victorian university, is frantically busy, but that's an average day in this dynamic role. On any given day Meg will find herself "Answering about 500 emails a day and I usually send out a press release in the morning which might be some interesting research that an academic has done." And that's all just before lunch.

In a nutshell, Meg's job is to "get the business's name out there, improving people's knowledge of it and what they do", which can involve everything from placing advertisements, writing press releases to organising interviews, setting up events or updating the university website. For Meg, "The best thing is the variety. I do so many different things."

While there's a lot to do, it's also a very social job. "People have a joke about marketers that they like to go out for long lunches and drink a lot," Meg says, "and that's pretty much true." It's not just after-hours events that contribute to a long working day: "If you're working with the media you work later, because of their deadlines and getting things out, especially with international media where you're juggling different time zones."

What sort of skills and qualities do you need?

Marketing requires a lot of different skills from the social abilities of being a 'people person' to written communication skills used in drafting press releases. Meg also believes that "you need good conflict management skills, because the media doesn't like you very much - that's the truth of the matter."

In fact winning the trust of the media is crucial "otherwise they just think you're some annoying person who sends too many pieces of paper to them." It's a process of building up contacts that in some areas of marketing will be the basis of a career.

Not surprisingly for a job that deals with getting ads and articles appearing in the media, marketing requires you to do a lot of reading and watching media. "Because the media changes all the time and there'll be a new writer every week, you need to know the contract writers because often they're the people who'll pick up your stories."

How do you get into marketing?

Marketing is an ambitious area, which can lead to more influential positions in a company. "You can move into general management positions, in fact a lot of Marketing Directors become CEOs."

While there are courses that teach marketing, Meg believes that "there's really no way to get into it bar experience." So many potential marketers start their careers in other areas of the business, like administration, "because companies don't really trust people who come from uni. It's all about experience."

Getting experience can be tough, so Meg suggests that aspiring marketers should look at cutting their teeth with volunteer work. "There's an excellent web resource called Good Company (new window) that has all the major charity organisations who need help. You can do a whole marketing campaign for someone and it helps their business and it helps you out with experience."

Find out more about a career in marketing

Visit the MyFuture website to find more about duties and tasks, work conditions, earnings and required qualifications for a career in marketing.

Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (new window) (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).