Ben Gilholme shows you how to be the money man for Grapeshot.


What does the Grapeshot advertising manager do?

The advertising manager’s role involves reaching out to potential advertisers and attempting to sell enough ad space to meet our revenue target.

How do you do it?

There are a few different ways. The first and easiest way is for potential customers to email or phone Grapeshot with their request. The other way is by emailing or phoning various companies and potentials with what we offer in an attempt to ‘sell’ the magazine ad space to them. This usually involves multiple emails or calls back and forth, and requires some persuading. Once an ad has been requested, we then receive the artwork and place it in the magazine in the necessary space, and then follow up with receiving payment.

What do you love most about your work at Grapeshot?

Grapeshot has given me great insight into a field I potentially wish to explore after university (marketing and advertising). This has allowed me to build solid relationships with several people and companies, as well as get a first-hand look into how the buying and selling of advertisements work. Grapeshot also has a great set of people working there, and it’s been great fun working and hanging out with people at university outside of classes.

How do you manage your time of being Grapeshot advertising manager and a student with your other commitments?

The advertising manager has the fortunate position of being able to work mostly over the phone and by email, so a lot of the work is usually done when I’m at home. Balancing my uni work, Grapeshot and social life around deadline time has occasionally been quite challenging, but it is incredibly satisfying when all the work is completed and you move on to the next issue.

What challenges have you encountered and how have you overcome them?

There’s nothing more frustrating than communicating with someone several times, putting a lot of energy into trying to gain business, and then have them simply not respond to you. Even hearing a no is much better as you know you’re not being hung out to dry! This position really means having to accept rejection very often, and the only way to overcome this is to suck it up and continue to try with other potentials.

What are some of the expected and unexpected this year?

I really thought this job would be far easier than it was. As previously stated, rejection has been a recurring theme when sending out emails and calls, but that is to be expected. What I didn’t expect is that I’d sometimes be stressing out near deadline days with very limited options left available, as I thought the job would be far simpler. On a lighter note, I also did not expect to become friends with so many other members of the team. While I don’t get into the office as often as I would like, I’ve hung out with the team outside university hours and had a blast every time, so it really is a great way to meet new people at the university under different circumstances.

What advice would you have for those who are looking to apply for advertising manager?

Don’t leave it all until the last minute. I was very guilty of this a few times over the year, and it really does not do you any favours. Rather than trying to get it all done over the last week before deadlines, call and send out emails to any potentials well in advance. This allows you to continue to explore other options if nothing comes about, as well as relieving you of some stress late in the process. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. While this is technically a job, make sure you take the time to get to know the rest of the team and have fun.

Having a good phone voice helps as well!