An advertising production coordinator provides a critical role in making sure that advertising is delivered on time to publications. The tasks are primarily focused on print ads, including magazines, newspapers and outdoor billboards. Production coordinators are often self-described "time and task masters," and rightfully so. They have a job that puts them on the line to make sure that every task and everyone involved meets set deadlines-both inside the ad agency and with outside vendors and suppliers.
Entering Jobs into Print Production
Once the agency's client approves an ad, it enters the print production phase. A production meeting is held and led by the ad agency art director, and attended by the production manager and the production coordinator. The art director will describe anything that is special about the job, and identify outside suppliers such as photographers and illustrators who will provide or deliver materials. The coordinator is responsible to "open the job," assign a job number and use information from the meeting to develop the production schedule.
Job Trafficking and Scheduling Responsibilities
The job is now turned over to the coordinator to develop the production schedule and set deadlines for each task. The coordinator presents the schedule to the production manager for approval. Once approved, the schedule is distributed to agency personnel with key responsibilities and accountabilities. This often includes the agency art director, copywriter and account executive.
Responsibilities with External Suppliers and Vendors
The coordinator pays special attention to keeping outside suppliers on track. For example, a photograph is often a key element of a print ad. If the photographer is late, a "domino effect" can delay the next steps involved in finishing the ad on time and jeopardize the entire production schedule.
Coordinating Receipt of Materials
When materials are delivered to the agency, they are typically delivered to the production department and the production coordinator assigned to the specific ad.
Sticking with photography as an example, in this case the coordinator takes the photographs to the art director for his/her review. The art director prepares a layout using the selected photos, inserts the headline and text for the ad body copy, and prepares digital files as a "mock-up" of the final ad. The coordinator continues to check-in with the art director, to make sure the job is on schedule.
Coordinating Internal Approvals
The ad mock-up is given to the production coordinator to distribute for agency approval, generally by the art director, copywriter, proofreader, account executive and production manager. If changes or revisions are required, the approval process starts again.
Impact of Missed Deadlines
A missed deadline can often result in extra charges by the publication, or the loss of getting the ad to appear in a "prime" location, like the inside front cover of a magazine.
Meeting deadlines is especially important for time-sensitive ads that run during holidays, special events and promotions, or that have coupons with expiration dates. Missed deadlines can hurt opportunities for advancement and job continuation.
Production Completion Responsibilities
When materials are finally completed the production coordinator informs the publication, sends the digital files and confirms receipt of the files. This last step is recorded on the job status report as "job completed" and distributed to everyone involved on the agency production team. The coordinator "closes the job" by labeling and storing all related materials and files in the production department archives.
- Photo Credit the advertising girl image by 26kot from Fotolia.com Color guide to match colors for printing image by Piter Pkruger from Fotolia.com photographer image by dave verch from Fotolia.com
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