A Day in the Life of a Planner

Zach Masih

25th June 2015
What's your official job title?

Junior Planner

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

I remember having this conversation, and I described it the same way I do whenever the inevitable question comes up. Imagine a car; that’s the creative agency as a whole, working in unison to get client from A to B. So, account managers are, in my opinion, the wheels and the body of the car. They are the functional parts, making sure the client has a smooth ride and gets to their destination in one piece. The creatives are the finesse, the distinguishing flair between the everyday car and an Aston Martin. Finally, we have what we do. We’re (mostly) behind the scenes, the ABS, the CPU… And the airbag to lighten the impact when something doesn’t go to plan. My mum still doesn’t really understand what I do, but always asks about my analogy when we come across an Aston Martin.

How would you actually describe what you do?

Working for a creative agency, I guess a lot of the time I’m breaking down macro and micro insights and giving the client an informed opinion as to angles we can take on a campaign and what strategy to adopt. Trawling through these insights and trends, the best part of what I do is finding a unique nugget (to which I fist bump by desk buddy when I do), and develop the basis of a strategy with directions the brands can take.

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

Grab breakfast and a cup of tea. Check emails and then check all of my social media channels to see what everyone’s been talking about. Check out industry news and start the day with digesting some creativity.

11am

Research on whichever project I’m working on, proactive research which the client might find interesting, meetings.

1pm

Head to the gym, feel broken after the gym then grab lunch and start getting back into my flow.

3pm

Brainstorming with other planners and then more meetings.

5pm

More brainstorming, more research and having a protein shake if I remember.

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

If working on a pitch, planning what to have for dinner in the area and if heading home planning what to have for dinner.

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

The planning team becoming the loudest team in the agency.

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

Working on one of our alcohol brands, we were to deliver a piece of work shifting away from the typical typography and look and feel we use, to a more millennial focused approach. Working on a project that I could relate to and add my own personal experiences to felt amazing, and led to some awesome creative.

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

I actually found this a tricky question to answer, so I’m going to take a similar approach to a previous entry. In terms of worst, this month has been pretty good apart from some of the late nights. However my most challenging experience was convincing a client to side with my gut feeling. There was potential for some great work and a great campaign, and it’s safe to say the project went ahead.

What are you wearing today?

I’m wearing a beige jumper, some black jeans and Nike trainers. We’re quite a relaxed agency but for any client meetings I’d make sure to wear a shirt.

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

Be innovative. This junior planner period seems quite niche, from what I’ve personally experienced, as everyone wants to be a bona fide badass. Aim to stand out from the crowd.

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

Don’t stress out over interviews, be yourself and everything will fall into place.

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