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Our resident Media Buyer Claire Turnbull is truly an expert at what she does. Having worked in the media for 28 years within top agencies and in-house teams, her knowledge of all things advertising is well-honed, and she has been landing impressive ads for a number of high-profile clients throughout her career!

Today we chat with Claire about her journey into media buying, and how she became a Narrator as well as a crucial and much-loved member of our PR & Media team!

How did you end up working as a Media Buyer?

Oh, we are going back many moons ago!  Back in 1991 I worked as a PA in a printing company based in Gateshead.  The majority of their clients were advertising agencies and after seeing the work involved in campaigns, I thought this looks like an interesting industry to be in.  A couple of years passed and I saw a job vacancy for an admin person at a local advertising agency.  It wasn’t the job that I really wanted but it was a step in the door.  I got the job but after a few months, they could see that I wanted to do more and they asked, would I be interested in Media Buying.  I jumped at the chance and not looked back since!

Why did you choose Narrative and how would you describe your journey as a Narrator?

I took a couple of years out of the media world and was working in Sales.  To be honest, I wasn’t really a sales person!  I worked with Joanna [Taylor – our Creative Delivery Director] at a previous agency and we always kept in touch.  Joanna emailed telling me that a job had become available at Narrative, and asked if I would be interested.  My CV was emailed over immediately!  I had heard so many good things about Narrative; the culture, people, clients that they have and it sounded like a great place to work.  And it was my way back into the media world that I love.  I’ve worked for Narrative for 3 years and really enjoying my journey.

What do you enjoy the most about the world of media buying?

The media landscape is always changing.  Hey, I’ve been in the job 28 years and from when I first started out to what media we have now is amazing!  It’s great to see new media come on board and the client wishes to try it.  Even better when you get great results.  

What’s been your biggest career achievement to date?

After being at my first agency for 5 years I wanted to move on and work with bigger clients.  A job opportunity came my way and I thrilled to be working on a 15 million account for a well-known car dealer.  Yes, it was tough going but loved the challenges and the late nights.  It doesn’t matter if clients don’t have those kinds of budgets as a small budget go a long way.   When you see client’s campaigns on tv or on a billboard it’s a great achievement when you see the final results come to life.

What motivates or inspires you in your role?

Being on constant deadline.  Learning new skills and working with a great bunch of Narrators.

What tools or software do you swear by to do your job?

Trello and a spreadsheet.  I live my life by a spreadsheet.

What do you get up to outside of work?

At the moment it’s all about walking.  Before Covid, we are a Netball family.  Georgia (daughter) plays for a local club and at County level.  Lots of training and travelling to matches to watch her play.  I also play Netball but not at a high level. 

What would your advice be to someone looking to break into the media industry?

If you can, try doing work experience at agencies to get a feel of agency life. 

What are your top tips for media buying, and budding media buyers out there?

Budgets, targeting, timings, understanding the client’s objectives.

How do you feel the industry has changed since you started?

It’s changed massively!  Digital didn’t even exist in 1993!

If you’re interested in finding out more about our media buying services, we’re ready to help! You can also read Claire’s latest brilliant blog post on how to create a media buying plan.

This post was created on 11th March 2021
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