Media and Visual Communications: Reaching Out to the Masses
Perhaps the allure of a Media and Visual Communications career is the sheer diversity--fashion designer, broadcast journalist, podcaster. The limits of this industry are expanding almost daily. And technology is constantly creating new related fields that match your unique talents and interests.
The Career 411
Media and visual communications is a broad term for the collection of career tracks that combine imagery with interaction. Be it through a high-tech medium, such as high-definition or the Internet, or through more traditional means like the runway or window space, professionals in this field use their creativity to evoke a response.
According to WelchWrite, some of the leading avenues for professionals in the media and visual communications field include:
- Retail. Communications in the form of direct mail, podcasts, or Web interactivity pave the way for announcements about new products and services.Restaurant. Rotating menu items and seasonal specials are the perfect objects for professionals to announce in appealing, diverse ways.
- Charity. The goal of non-profits is the same as commercially-driven organizations--to influence a target audience to respond to a call for action.
- Brand-building. Companies and organizations typically pay you big bucks to design strategic advertising and marketing campaigns that solidify their image.
Why This Career Has an Edge
In a phrase, project variety. Professionals in the media and visual communications field are typically specialists. They develop a particular set of talents that are parlayed into specific positions with an employer.
For example, Fashion Modeling Careers outlines the diversity involved in public relations positions. And although these duties are tailored to the fashion design industry, PR pros develop these skills in industries across the board.
- Strategize and implement public relations and tradeshow activities
- Create and manage a company's public relation strategies
- Arrange appointments for new product introductions and follow up on day-to-day activities of events and promotions
- Maintain working relationships with print and non-print media representatives
Career in the Numbers
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of visual and media communications specialists--advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers--is projected to grow by 12 percent over the coming decade; that's about as fast as the national average for all occupations through 2016.
PayScale reports that the starting annual salary for professionals in the field is $28,319. Those with 20 or more years of experience can earn up to $55,687. Potential salary is influenced by specialty and geographic locale.
How to Get There
Typical entry points into the media and visual communications industry start with a bachelor's or master's degree in a related subject. Media-based industries such as broadcast and news journalism rely heavily on experience in the field gained through a mentorship with an established professional.
Polycom emphasizes the technical aspect of the career field, making training in the latest software and streaming media applications a must if you plan on making an impact. Telepresence, content sharing, and enhanced IP capabilities mean that those who wish to obtain top-tier positions must stay abreast of these technologies.