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Associate Media Director



Marketing & Communications
Durham, NC, USA · New York, NY, USA
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Think about all the things you’re exposed to on a daily basis, but don’t really notice. We live in a world full of invisible impressions. Adding to a sea of sameness where others have deeper pockets and hoping for anything but the expected outcome is silly. We can’t simply rely on reaching the right people in the right places at the right times. We need them t o engage with our messaging and ultimately sharing in some way. That’s what our team of analytically minded, Creative media thinkers work passionately t o accomplish on a daily basis for our clients.


Let’s talk if…

  • You are goal-oriented. You know exactly what you want. You’re a habitual setter of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals. And you hold yourself accountable.
  • You are insatiably curious. You’re thirsty for knowledge. You want t o know why things are the way they are. You regularly ask “what i f?” You’re always looking for a better way. And you can’t wait to find out what the next trait is.
  • You are the task master. You make lists for everything that needs t o be done and methodically prioritize and reprioritize t o make sure that i t all gets done in a timely manner.
  • You are detail-oriented. In a client service business, especially one where you manage lots of money, i t pays t o have an eagle eye. You proofread your work several times over t o ensure that it follows content-wise, i s error-free and ready t o send onward. (Like we obviously did writing this.
  • You make things happen. You regularly put forth new ways, placements, trends and technologies t o bring ideas to life in fresh, unexpected ways. You don’t take “no” for an answer from your media partners.
  • You are an overachiever. You always do things better than people expect them t o be done. That’s just the standard you’ve set for yourself.
  • You live and breathe digital. You’re not just familiar with digital media channels, you personally use them, teach others about them and are always In The Know when i t comes to the latest updates.
  • You always have a POV. You methodically break situations down to frame the real challenge, unearth meaningful insights and piece together well-thought-out recommendations. Thinking analytically i s what earns you a seat at the table.
  • You are an exceptional storyteller. You appreciate simplicity and brevity. You leverage relevant insights and/or points of tension t o pique interest i n, and get buy-in for, your recommendations.
  • You are invaluable t o your clients. They trust you. They rely on you and your team t o arm them with the information and analysis they need t o be successful. They appreciate that you make their lives easier by proactively servicing their business and adding value to every interaction.
  • You are a leader, not a boss. You are an advocate for your team. You help them grow and become more successful. You set expectations. You hold everyone, including yourself, accountable (see Trait #1). You explain the "why" of what needs t o be accomplished. You show them how t o successfully execute tasks and constructively critique the work along the way.
  • You defy what it is. You know that creative potential lies in identifying and breaking category conventions. You make i t your mission to find fresh, unexpected ways t o connect with your client’s target audience.

Leader in the department

  • Contribute strategic media thinking for new business related needs
  • Merchandise the department’s efforts internally and externally t o raise the group’s profile
  • Spearhead the development of junior team members (identify strengths/weakness, development of training programs and curriculum)
  • Enhance and optimize processes to more effectively handle client responsibilities

Plan development

  • Display a mastery of media fundamentals, including experience and interest across traditional and digital
  • Demonstrate proficiency with industry planning tools (e.g., DCM, Simmons/MRI, Nielsen Media Impact, Nielsen Ad Intel, etc.) to identify and evaluate media opportunities, assess the competitive landscape, pull plan deliveries and manage media buys
  • Strategically guide the development of media plan recommendations that deliver on the client’s business goals and objectives and be accountable for the plan’s results
  1. Develop a deep understanding of an existing and/or prospective client’s business (e.g., sales, seasonality, target audience, etc.)
  2. Review past efforts to understand the role of media types utilized and historical performance as relevant t o successfully developing future campaigns.
  3. Collaborate with account management, strategy, creative and production colleagues
  4. Determine media planning goals and objectives and create a measurement plan framework
  5. Gather and analyze relevant research t o strategically inform plan developmentOversee and inform the media t eam’s communication with all media partners
  6. Create, organize and maintain relevant media partner information (contact info, media kits, etc.)
  7. RFP media partners to identify strategically relevant opportunities
  8. Review proposals leveraging agency resources and planning tools

Negotiation and implementation

  • Negotiate the most advantageous media buys possible for the client
  • Ensure the timeliness and accuracy of buy authorizations prior t o sending onward for client approval
  • Ensure the timeliness and accuracy of contracts (buy details and I Os) prior to sending to media partners
  • Ensure the accuracy of the trafficking sheet (placement, targeting, cost model, etc. by media type)

Reporting and optimization

  • Anticipate client reporting needs and architect the trafficking sheet (placement, targeting, cost model, etc. by media type) as needed
  • Meet or exceed client expectations for their reporting and optimization needs
  • Ensure the timeliness and accuracy of the performance reports presented t o clients
  • Monitor, optimize and report on the approved digital media plan elements
  • Pull, scrub and analyze campaign data from DCM (or other relevant sources)
  • Regularly implement optimizations based on partner performance


  • Accurately track media budgets and expenditures by media type and by month and manage flow charts t o visualize placements by media type
  • Verify that all media ran substantially as approved, otherwise negotiate make-goods and/or credit as may be applicable i n accordance with industry practices
  • Receive, review, verify, approve and process media invoices and resolve discrepancies


7+ years of media planning, buying and reporting experience Knowledge of all aspects of digital media (programmatic, site direct, mobile, SEO, etc.) Strong understanding of research tools (e.g., DCM, Nielsen Media Impact, Nielsen Ad Intel, Simmons/MRI)


Our estimated range for this role is $110k - $125k

Compensation packages are based on the skill level and experience each candidate brings to their role. There may also be a more senior or junior position available that could be a better fit with your expertise. Each level has its own compensation range.

We pride ourselves on competitive salaries, and ensuring pay equity exists across our organization. We benchmark each position against existing employee competencies and 4As compensation data which includes geographic and agency size benchmarks. We also meet with department leaders 3x/year to insure we are supporting employees in living into their full potential. Our promotions are not limited to a specific time per year. Promotions are tied to performance. We look forward to meeting you!


You must be authorized to work in the US for any employer. At this time, we are not sponsoring or providing assistance with obtaining work authorization.

McKinney is a place where everyone can grow. Studies have shown that marginalized communities such as women, LGBTQ+ and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. However you identify, and whatever background you bring with you, please apply if this is a role that would make you excited to come into work every day.

We are in the office Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday on a hybrid schedule.