Introduction to Media Sales – MDIA 270

This introductory sales course will cover the entire media sales cycle and how media sales representatives interact with advertising agencies, brands, properties, and media clients. It will:

  • Cover media and sales planning, research and setting sales objectives/strategies/goals.
  • Show how to effectively negotiate, "pitch" and "close" the sale and evaluate/measure the sale, once it is completed.
  • Consist of class lectures, in-class activities, role-playing exercises and also include guest lectures from industry leaders.

Sales Management – MDIA 320
This course addresses conceptual and methodological issues related to the management of media sales within media organizations. It will:

  • Cover the responsibilities, functions and skills necessary to be an effective media sales manager.
  • Include an evaluation of sales organizational structures, recruiting, selecting, testing and training of media salespeople.
  • Include compensation plans, controlling expenses, sales forecasting/projections, quotas, ethics, and motivation.
  • Consist of class lectures, activities, role playing exercises and also include guest lectures from industry leaders/alumni with experience in media sales management.

Advanced Media Sales - MDIA 370
This course focuses on consultative and persuasive selling and interpersonal relationship building, with an emphasis on specific media vehicles.

  • There will be significant time spent covering the sales process for each medium (television, digital, mobile, radio, print, OOH, OTT, etc.).
  • It will discuss how to be a successful salesperson for each medium, including major account selling, value-added selling, coordination between other functional areas, team selling, negotiating, communication styles, career management, and personal development.
  • The course will also cover the relationship between advertising agencies, brand clients and salespeople.
  • It will include mock interviews, written proposals, and role-playing exercises that will facilitate application of effective media sales techniques.

Persuasive Writing – BTW 271
Students will study principles of persuasion, as applied to writing and designing written communications for business. Included are ads, direct-mail campaigns, argumentative essays, proposals, and other types of writing designed to move readers to respond and take action.

  • Media-specific topics will be covered, including RFPs (Request for Proposals), sales pitches and sales presentations.

Internship/Individual Study
Contact Dionne Clifton at dclifton@illinois.edu for approval forms.
Designed as an applied learning experience, the course follows the student's short-term placement within a firm that’s relevant to the sales program and its curriculum (advertising and media preferred).

  • The intern's responsibilities are determined by the firm offering the internship; however, sales faculty will work with companies to ensure that student experiences are relevant and rewarding.
  • Upon completion of the internship, the student must write a formal review of the experience and how it relates to the sales industry.
  • The company will write a formal review of the intern and provide it to the director of the sales program.
  • Required Internship Form: here

Knowing that securing an internship in a relevant and approved field might be challenging, students can also take an independent study course with an approved faculty member, instead of completing an internship.

  • The student and faculty member will create a project related to the sales program and finalize the specific details of the project and the student will provide a formal review of the experience and how it relates to the sales industry.