Wednesday 1st March 2023


Back in September, we welcomed our first intake of students for the inaugural Different Narrative Academy. What followed was two weeks of intense insight into the marketing and advertising industry, live client briefs, curveball briefs and lots of fun. As we now put the finishing touches to our plans for the 2023 DNA programme, we caught up with Jess Storey, one of four DNA graduates, six months on.

What were the top lessons Jess took away from the two-week training programme, how has it changed her approach to her studies and what would she say to anyone who might be thinking of applying for the 2023 academy?


“The key thing I learnt from the programme is time management. Getting an awareness of agency life and the fact that multiple projects will be ongoing at the same time was so important. Working with the Different Narrative team, I  also developed key skills in pitching and presenting, how to string along a presentation and the importance of communication with clients when creating designs and building out ideas.”


“As a  result of DNA I’ve become a lot more aware of what to expect from a design job when I complete my degree. In terms of studies, I give more consideration to the process behind my ideas and the presentations, especially with logos and branding. DNA helped to alleviate some of my anxieties of the unknown when it comes to graphic design – although I love studying it, I had never experienced working it. Now I’ve had a taster, I’m confident this is the job I want to do in the future.”


“Although I only  managed to experience a couple of hours of the Eldon Square shoot, I learnt so much from it. Previously, I’d thought graphic designers only worked in a design office and hadn’t considered things like advertisement shoots, marketing and PR. It was really interesting to be involved in as it was completely new and unexpected.”

“I have already recommended the DNA school to my peers, especially those who are looking to gain industry experience. The key is to really take the opportunity and show your passion in the subject. Be yourself and show your personality as much as possible!”


1. Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices – getting value for money is key regardless of your budget

When it comes to buying media, the importance of negotiation should not be underestimated. Media rate cards are just the start of the conversation of course, but knowing the type of media you wish to purchase, where you want to place your campaign, getting added value and how your ads are measured will all give you scope to haggle on the quoted price.


2. Do your research – ensure that the media mix you invest in maximises visibility amongst your desired audience

Visibility of your campaign is crucial to its success. Invest time researching the sites you are investing in. There’s nothing worse than your digital screen being blocked by some scaffolding that has recently been installed in close proximity to a prime location. With today’s fragmented media consumption, it is important to think beyond just one route to media buying success too to ensure multiple bites at interaction with your target audience.


3. Have a clear understanding of your target audience – you need to minimise wastage in your advertising

Take the time to develop an in-depth picture of your target audience. If you don’t narrow down your audience enough, you run the risk of wastage with your ad impressions playing out to people who don’t correlate with your brand objectives. High-quality content for an engaged audience will hit the mark across a mix of media avenues but you need to ensure that your message hits with an engaged consumer.


4. Nurture those media partner relationships – business success comes through building key connections

Building up a strong book of media partner contacts can help your campaign no end. Repeat success can often come through the networks you build. Knowing people in the right spaces will give you opportunities to access optimal spaces, so make sure to develop and nurture relationships with key channel owners.


5. Keep abreast of new and emerging media platforms to stay ahead of your competitors

The advertising landscape is constantly changing, so staying up to date with media trends and emerging platforms should enable you to pioneer new opportunities and maximise results for your organisation or your client. At the end of the day, if you’re ahead of the curve, you have firsts dibs on providing the best recommendations for your client.


To ensure you secure quality media space in front of your desired audience, make sure to take the time to scope your project and speak to the experts. Getting your head around the right channel mix, the correct locations and negotiating the best costs is not always easy. Chat about your media buying options with Claire and the team in more detail at

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