The Drum's 'Unsung Heroes' series is a celebration of the people in the industry who slog hard behind the limelight for their companies, brands and clients.
As they are seldom in the spotlight for their contribution to the success of campaigns, this is their time to shine.
Even though Melisa Sim works extremely long hours as a senior media buyer at PHD Singapore due to constant changes in the media landscape, which is unpredictable and keep her on my toes, she enjoys explaining her role to people outside of the industry, as the idea of being able to buy an ad placement fascinates them.
Why is your job important?
As a senior buyer, my role is to facilitate the implementation from planning to an actual media placement being booked, which translates into an actual campaign launch (i.e. when ads go live on various media touch points). Therefore, I make sure everything gets carried out.
What is the hardest and stressful part of your job?
The hardest and most stressful part of my job is managing timelines between booking and submission of ad materials, as well as coordinating all the vendors and creative partners.
Normally, the turnaround time is very short, involving a lot of details and meticulous checks to ensure that everything is in order. More often than not, immediate attention is required, by the time the request/alert is raised.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is the feeling I get when campaigns are successfully launched and knowing that they are effectively delivering on our client’s marketing objectives.
First thing that comes to people’s minds when you tell them your job?
A lot of people don’t understand what I do. Most ask, “how does one buy media placement/commercial slots?” The idea of being able to buy an ad placement fascinates people outside of the industry in terms of how we actually “buy” placements. They also often ask if it is a complicated process.
How would you correct/explain to them what you do then?
I usually tell them that I am responsible for the ads they see/listen to/interact with on various media, such ase TV, Radio, Print, Out-of-Home etc. I “reserve and book” commercial slots across various media.
Is there anything you want to change in your job?
The long hours due to the constant changes, which are unpredictable and keep me on my toes.
Which was the campaign that you worked on, that you are most proud of?
Rather than one particular campaign, I am proud of all the campaigns I’ve worked on. They are all important, regardless of their budget, and my priority is to ensure that all campaigns are consistently well-managed and go “live” on time.
Who is someone you want to emulate in your industry?
Since buyers are the industry’s best-kept secret, I wouldn’t want to emulate anyone else. I take inspiration from my peers.
If you weren’t a senior media buyer, what would you be?
If I weren’t a senior media buyer, I would like to be a movie reviewer.
If you think of someone who deserves to be part of this series, please get in touch with Shawn Lim and nominate them. You can read the most recent feature, which looks at the role of an account manager, here.