By Ross Wade, Elon School of COMM Career Guy
Over the past couple of years I have had the opportunity to connect with, and learn from, some stellar professionals in the interactive media world. Katie Penney, Interactive Producer at Digitas (Boston, MA), has been especially kind with her time and expertise. I asked her some basic questions about the work life of an Interactive Producer…check out her responses below.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME, KATIE!!!
What is an interactive producer? What do they do day to day?
An Interactive producer is a person who leads interactive / digital projects from start to finish. They keep all projects on track, on budget, and organized. They manage many different teams and capabities to ensure that the highest quailty of work and creative is delivered to the clients. The Day 2 Day work involves checking in with your teams to make sure they have all the assets and information they need to work on a project. Working with clients and account leads to help them understand the limitations and uses of digital media. We work with teams of creatives, technology, and strategiest to provide our clients with the best plan in approaching their customers and providing them with useful content.
What Digitas colleagues (e.g. writers, designers) do you work with on projects as an interactive producer?
As a producer you work with almost every capabilty. Desginers, UI, Art Directors, writers, coders, technology, Marketing / Account, Client and any vendors that the project requires. A producer is usually the lead contact for all production elements of a project and we support the account leads in client management.
What type of interactive media projects do you work on with your clients?
I have worked on just about everyting in the digital world. I have built FB APP’s and Fan pages, iPhone apps, iPad Apps, online banners, websites, sitelets, mobile site, QR codes, Email campaigns, Twitter, and Interactive demos and videos to name a few.
What key skills do new professionals need to have as they pursue a career as an interactive producer?
There are a few core skills you will want to be great at. Communication, Organization, Multi-tasking, and keeping it together when things fall apart or have to be turned around in less then ideal time. Projects never go as planned, items get left out, clients change their minds, technology changes ect. As a Producer you need to be able to plan for the unexpected and adjust quickly and effciently. Always be prepared for a interim solution that will lead up to the overall deliverable. A producer is not only the one person who is involved in a project from start to finish. You are also looked at as a reliable resourse of knowledge. You need to constantly update yourself with the latest / cutting edge technology and trends so that you can better server your team and clients.
What is your best job search advice for someone pursuing a career as an interactive producer?
I think LinkedIn is awesome and great for networking. If they are looking to get into an agency setting I would tell them to look for internships as its the easiest way to find out if you want to be in the industry and best way to get into an agency without experience. Also, you want to make sure that your resume reflects keys words of the industry you are pursuing. In the days of digital / electronic submission there are a lot of places that don’t actually review indivdual resumes. What they do is search by key word. Think of it as a google for resumes. So if you don’t have the “key” words in your resume that employers are looking for you may get looked over. You also need to “Craft” your resume and get creative with it. For example you can turn, ” I worked at a clothing store” to ” I worked in fashion providing my customers with expert knowledge of fit and comfort”