9 thoughts on “Wanna be a Planner? Straight talking advice for graduates.

  1. All very very true. If all planners were the same.

    We could sit here and discuss the merits and pitfalls of planners that know ‘the industry standards’ v planners who are a bit different.

    I guess that’s the difference between what a friend and I call ‘taught planners’ and ‘learned planners’ – a taught planner has been taught to carry out a systematic approach to a problem. This (generally) leaves little capacity for original, fresh thinking. If it’s not in the TGI stats and it wasn’t reflected in the focus group, don’t do it.

    However, if some companies have the balls to give some rope to different, unoriginal, (parallel?), backgrounds then who knows?

    However, I absolutely take your point about planners not being necessary and in the current climate it’s all about proving ones worth.

    I was chatting to some friends this week and saying I’m thinkign of taking all planning feeds off my RSS. The conversations seem to be about the same things. The books that are suggested are the same. I think there’s real scope to truly find inspiration in different areas, instead of looking to the same blogs and working once-removed from the original source.

    I guess what I’m trying to say in a ‘rambling because it’s Friday afternoon kind of way’ is that pigeon-holing account team members is sort of easy. Pigeon-holing creatives is sort of easy. Pigeon-holing planners IS easy but I sort of wish it wasn’t. In order for the practice to remain relevant, interesting and exciting then I hope it doesn’t go that way. Risks are good. Diversity is good. If we can convince employers of this we can (with their help) get to work on the clients and attempt to come up with original, exciting, fresh work.

  2. Great points Mark, thanks for the response. I got a bit freaked when a graduate confidently told me she’d be a great Planner because she was a very logical thinker…

  3. I agree there are planners out there who need to read this post perhaps, but more importantly planning directors need to pick people who they see fit as planners at their agencies – not only picking from planners or aspiring planners. That, I think, is the way to go. In line with Russell’s interesting thoughts. Pick interesting people with interesting backgrounds and thoughts, not just planners per se What’s a creative?

    What’s required from a planner changes and varies quicker than any schoool for planners (whatever that is in GBR) can evolve. Media planners, account planners, experience planners etc….

    This is probably why our industry still, after 40 years, spend so much time trying to define what it is we really do… which is quite amusing.

  4. Hi,

    Im a so called junior planner looking for a job abroad. The people Im working with really like what im doing, appreciates my thoughts and inputs. Im still struggling with the introduction in a job inquiry because I think my work could improve itself.
    Actually planning blog tips for beginners are the scariest thing ever:)
    Just a little thing: Im wondering who can be brave enough to decide who is interesting and who is not. I strongly believe that everybody is interesting. Its like an axiom. If I didnt think so I wouldnt work a planner.

  5. Pingback: Straight talking advice for Grads who want to be an Account Planner – part 2 « (almost) always thinking

  6. Pingback: yet more straight talking advice for aspiring account planners (part three) « (almost) always thinking

  7. Pingback: Planning: 5 Things in the Day Job « wanky planner blog

  8. Pingback: Inside Track : The Account Planner | Mark Kelly digital

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