Caroline Pascall

Advertising Operations Executive at Condé Nast

Caroline Pascall

How did your get your job as Advertising Operations Executive?

During my course at the College we had a visit from Simon Kippin, the then Publisher of Glamour, who spoke about the business side of the magazine and specifically how advertising plays its role.  Following the lecture he invited me to enquire about work experience in his team for a short period during the autumn, after I graduated. I followed up on the offer and completed a week of work experience within the Glamour advertising team. 

During this time a 3 month internship came up for an admin assistant on the Condé Nast Digital team which I immediately applied for.  A couple of weeks prior to my week with Glamour my details had been passed to the department PA of the Digital team who desperately needed some last minute work experience help for a couple of days.  Whilst heading out of London on a train I received a call asking if I was available immediately. I was so I turned around, got back on a train to London and went to Vogue House to help out.  I spent a day and half licking envelopes for an event invitation.  It must have helped as on my last day with the Glamour team I was offered the internship.

I then spent 3 months assisting the PA to the Digital team.  I got experience across brands – especially Tatler, who needed help scanning and uploading old Bystander photos from the 90’s.  I also helped arrange the Christmas party and stood in for the PA when needed.

Once my 3 months were up I got offered a week temping as a PA to the editor of Brides – which saw me help out at a big bridal event in London.  After a couple more days temping with the HR team I was offered a month’s position temping as an assistant to the Vogue Advertising team. After a week with Vogue I was offered a permanent position as an Advertising Operations Assistant. I was thrilled and after six months progressed to a Junior Advertising Operations Exec and then early last year I was promoted to an Advertising Operations Executive.

 

What was it like on your first day?

My first day with the Ad Ops team was slightly strange as I already knew the team fairly well from the internship and temping – however, it felt completely different to be a permanent member of the team – suddenly it felt like everything started to fit together. The Digital team is incredibly warm and made me very welcome and it wasn’t long until I felt completely settled with them.

Every team I’ve joined (even for just a couple days here and there) at Condé Nast has always been really friendly and quick to offer support and reassurance – it is a definite theme throughout the company.

I’ve not always been the most confident person in new situations but temping and interning really helped.  When you’re only with a team for a short amount of time you quickly realise you need to jump in and get involved in order to make the most of the situation.

 

Is working at Condé Nast what you expected?

In many respects yes – it is definitely the fast paced and exciting environment I thought and hoped it would be. There is always something going on and something new to be working on.

One thing that was more unexpected is the level of dedication from everyone. Everyone really cares about their role and works exceptionally hard.  Of course you expect this – but the level of constant dedication is somehow still surprising when you see it first-hand.

 

Describe an average day as Advertising Operations Executive at Condé Nast Digital

The beginning and end of the week are traditionally the busiest for us.  Generally speaking the beginning of the week sees us checking new campaign launches, monitoring their performance and taking screengrabs of the campaigns on sites.  We can have multiple large campaigns going live at any one time so things quickly stack up – especially during busy periods like Fashion Week.

We support the central and brand sales team.  Each member of the Ad Ops team is buddied with a member of the central sales team and some of the brands.  Currently I look after Vogue and House & Garden but we work across all sites. We then provide them with inventory checks for availability on the sites whilst they negotiate sales with clients and help with specs so that the client knows what they need to give us to run a campaign.

We also work on reporting and problem shooting during the week and continue to monitor and optimise campaigns.  Any in-house advertising also come through us to get trafficked on the sites – which is quite a lengthy monthly task as all the magazines have new issues that need to be promoted.

The end of week tends to get very busy again as we set-up and test campaigns that are due to launch.  Usually a week prior to a campaigns launch we’ll chase for assets, however they often come in fairly close to deadline.  Once we have assets we have to check that they match specs and that nothing is missing and everything works as expected.  The last step is to upload everything so that the campaign is set-up and ready to launch.

Although most campaign launches are at the beginning of the week, they can start at any time throughout the week so we are always working on something.

 

 

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve done in your role so far?

One thing that always sticks in my memory is my first ever sponsorship launch in the Autumn of 2014.  A sponsorship means a client has booked to run completely on a particular section of the site – no other advertiser will feature on their section.  For example Vogue’s Beauty section on the website.  My first sponsorship sticks with me as it really did feel like an achievement and also as if I had finally become part of the Ad Ops team.   It was for a jewellery client and featured on the Vogue Fashion and Vogue News sections.

I was also really excited to start looking after Vogue’s trafficking recently – I have been paired with other sites previously but was so pleased to get a chance to be buddied with Vogue and work with the Digital sales team.

 

What are the key qualities you need for your role as Advertising Operations Executive at Condé Nast Digital?

Attention to detail is a complete must – the campaigns we deal with have a very real worth so we need to make sure we get them right.  For this reason organisation is also a very essential skill as we are often looking after multiple campaigns at once, each at different stages and needing different support.  Patience is also a requirement – especially when a campaign is not being as straight-forward as you hoped. You always get there in the end but sometimes it can be tricky.

Some digital know-how is certainly very helpful.  I’ve learnt a massive amount on the job and still have a lot to learn, but some back ground knowledge is certainly very helpful.   There is always something new to get your head around so you would never get bored.