“So, what do you do?”
I’m at a party, or my kid’s soccer game. I’m meeting new neighbors or running into an old acquaintance at the store. And the small talk invariably evolves.
Mr. So-and-so: “So, what do you do?”
Me: “I work for an ad agency in the strip.”
Mr. So-and-so: “Oh, cool. You do those catchy spots on the radio? Rata-tat-tat-tat, rata-tat-tat-tat.”
Me: “Uhhhh, not that one. I mean, we do some radio, but there’s a lot more to it than that.”
Mr. So-and-so: “Ohhhh, so you do TV commercials then, right? Lemonade, it’s Lemonade, man. You do that one? Ha.”
Me: “Uh, no, that wasn’t us. We do do TV and radio, but really there’s a lot more to it than that — branding, strategy, internal communications, digital, social media, B to B, B to C, B to E, it depends on the client and what they need. (I take a quick deep breath as my tone changes to a silky smooth, fast-paced pitch.) We’re a full-service creative marketing company that helps communicate creative and strategic ideas in a number of different mediums for a number of different audiences.”
Mr. So-and-so: “Oh….so, you’re a writer?”
Me: “I’m an Account Executive.”
Mr. So-and-so: “Oh, so you’re in sales.”
Me: “Well, not exactly. I’m a man of many hats. A task-master. A juggler. A…
So, what do I do? It’s hard to say quickly or easily. To tell you the truth, I don’t even know if my Mom or Dad knows what I do. I’d describe it as fun, challenging, ever-changing, insane, difficult, nerve-wracking, exciting and everything in-between. I’m everywhere at once, being the voice of the client, spit-balling creative, researching strategy, reconciling invoices and all of that gets me to about 9:30am on a typical day. Typical, ha, that’s a funny word to describe anything involving an account executive in advertising. I think that’s probably what is so exciting about it. Every day brings something new and every day is different. One week I can be absorbed in a large digital launch soaking up the latest trends in content marketing, while the next week I’m prepping for a multi-day commercial shoot out of state. All the while juggling the various creative and vibrant personalities of our office. Being the AE, I’m the extension of our clients in our office speaking on behalf of them in meetings and brainstorms, and that can be tricky because I don’t want to stifle creative ideas, but I also have to balance the interests and limits my clients may have on specific projects. Again, it’s all part of the rollercoaster that is my job, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other position. And I’d make that argument by saying I’m a part of all sides so I get to see the big picture, the entire lifecycle of projects, campaigns, etc. – the 360 view. It really gives me a well-rounded perspective of my clients, their competitors and various industries I’d never get clued in on otherwise. Its cliché, but truly every day is an adventure. Now that I’ve taken the time to put some of this down on paper, I think maybe I can shorten my next conversation on what I do. Well, maybe not.
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