I had been to lots of talks and portfolio review events about advertising before, but this was the first time I attended a short workshop/ bootcamp on planning. I did not know what to expect. However, the event delivered more than it promised. Not only did it provide a valuable view on the job of planner, but also a complete overview of the past, present and future of the part played by planners in the industry.
The bootcamp was lead by David Adamson (a senior planner at Saatchi and Saatchi). He introduced us to his personal tricks and tools to define problems, develop insights and measure their effectiveness, using various engaging activities.
David, an excellent storyteller, took us though the history and evolution of planning. He answered all our burning questions about roles of planners, shared his advice on how brands work and on landing jobs.
"You will always make better work with better problems."
5 tips to help define better problems:
- Examine all the evidence.
- Use interesting angles.
- Ask stupid questions.
- Think beyond your category.
- Keep it simple.
5 tips to get better insights:
- Use your own life experiences.
- Meet interesting people.
- Talk to the experts - leverage their 10,000 hours.
- Find power in numbers.
- Do, watch, follow weird shit.
Followed by David’s insights, Georgia Craib (Brand Planner at BBH Zag) spoke about her passion and experiences in the industry. Some of the highlights of Georgia’s presentation were about how brands are so much more than just a logo, (Image) *iceberg and how the value of businesses are directly related to the value they provide for society.
She shared a very good quote by Paypal’s CEO, Daniel Schulman: "Your future will be different from your present, but will be anchored in your past."
Georgia’s key tips on being a good strategist:
- Find people that are smarter than you.
- Visualise the consumer profile.
- Look all the corner and cracks of the project.
- Do things apart from your job. It’ll be important some day.
- Trying to see the potential in the resources available to you.
Lydia Crudge (Senior Research Executive at Flamingo) then gave us a glimpse of how her role is much more than sitting in discussion groups and carrying out surveys. She’s a planner turned researcher, an indication that it is very much possible to end up in roles that you might not have initially set out for.
"Find someone who’ll find you, teach you and who’ll take you under their wing."
Charlie Brenninkmeijer (Planner at Saatchi and Saatchi) ended the day with his presentation: "Advice by someone who’s in no position to give any”" I’d like to say, his list of advice was the most relatable part of the day.
- Put in the long and late hours.
- Become part of the agency.
- Be the pitch bitch.
- Steal the line. Share the line.
- Learn then forget powerpoint.
- Know the culture to dent it.
- Read the weird shit - in any format.
- Keep doing what makes you different.
- Just be right.
It was great to meet others at the event who were in all kinds of positions in their careers. We had a couple of attendees who had recently started working in agencies as planners, yet others who wanted to make a switch over to planning and were there to feel more confident about it.
I would recommend everyone to go to such events, talks and workshops in the future as they are a great opportunity to build networks both within and outside the agencies. FutureRising does such events regularly and you can check them out here.
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