A Day in the Life of a Planner

Dom Roe

29th Jan 2015
What's your official job title?

Senior Planner at Recipe

How would you describe to your parents/grand parents what you do?

I work out what we have to say to people to get the reaction we want – I then pass it over to the creative folks who work out how to say it…

How would you actually describe what you do?

I spend most of my time understanding four main things as well as I possibly can: 1) the exact task we are being set and why, 2) the competitive or market context, 3) the brand we are dealing with and, 4) most importantly, the audience we are talking to. I then try and find something more interesting, insightful, unique and/or compelling about each and weave them together into an inspiring one page story (or 'strategy')…

Please could you write a sentence or two on what you were doing at the following times today/yesterday?
9am

I usually spend a little while catching up on emails that were left unanswered from the day before or checking the drum/campaign/blogs over a morning coffee – try to organise my day ahead and see what work is coming in and who has to do what.

11am

Co-writing a toolkit for a 2015 pan-european digital campaign. Which generally involves myself and our head of digital going back and forth on content, reshuffling the structure of the ‘deck’ and getting bogged down in the wonderful world of semantics.

1pm

A lunch time meeting with an exciting immersive theatre company to brief them on a little pitch project we have been working on for the last couple of months.

3pm

A conference call with a client to discuss some viral content for the impending Rugby World Cup. We are still deciding on one of two creative routes – queue minor disagreement between planning, creative and suits, queue no agency preferred route, queue lots of mute button action on meeting room phone…

5pm

Reading through 5 briefs a planner has written for the first 3 months of a (very late starting) 2015 content calendar. With red pen in hand - actually it was green – someone keeps pinching all my pens.

7pm (or whatever time your work day generally ends)

Staying late to catch up on some recruitment bits and bobs. A catch 22 - we most need to hire someone when we are busy, but that's when we are least able to spare the time to look for them...

If you left your job right now, what wouldn't happen as a result?

We would continue to deliver some great creative but it might not be as effective at delivering the right messaging for either the brand or the target audience...

What's the most interesting thing you've done in the last month?

Won the 2015 digital work for a top drinks client, beating a large multinational agency in the process - very exciting for a little agency. That or flying to Copenhagen for a couple of days to pitch to an exclusive jewellery brand…

What's the worst thing you've done in the past month?

The worst thing I have to deal with – as always – is putting lots of time, effort and emotions into a pitch that you don’t win. Or worse still, being told you have won and then the job falls through. That, or getting a brilliant brief through with timings that are too tight to let you really get stuck in and do some good planning – very frustrating!

What are you wearing today?

Navy and green plaid shirt, black beanie, grey skinny jeans, and black plimsoles – promise I am not a hipster though!

What's the one piece of advice you'd give someone trying to get your job?

Always be passionate about what you do – passion pushes you to learn more, it makes you strive for better work and it allows you to win people over and bring them along with you…

What's the one thing you wish you'd known before you started?

Not everyone in the industry genuinely knows what they are doing at all times...but everyone acts like they do. Real, honest knowledge (not just blagging it) can get you very far, very quickly...so get reading.

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