Planners Unmasked | Alexandra Waring

4 Jul 2017

 

 WHAT 3 SKILLS SHOULD EVERY GOOD PLANNER POSSESS? 

 

Empathy/EQ: perhaps the most important aspect of being a planner is being able to put yourself in other’s shoes. Top hack: listen. And try to understand, as far as you can.

 

Tenacity & Resilience: getting into planning is still one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do (aside from my Russian oral exam in uni) but one thing that really pushed me is switching my attitude to: not if I make it… but when I make it. Fake it til you do. Also, rejection generally gives you a super tough skin anyway which will really prepare you for agency life and what happens when you get there. 

On that note, when starting out, remember to try and always fight for what’s right by the consumer and don’t bend to client or internal demands!

 

Never stop ‘looking’: stay restless basically. Try loads of new things. Read that weird takeaway menu for inspiration. Attend that cross stitch class. And when you’re doing these kooky things, talk to people and learn about them! This will help you craft those 'strong opinions, loosley held’, that everyone goes on about. 

 

 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR CAREER HIGHLIGHT SO FAR?

 

There have been a few in my short tenure as a planner! 

  1. Seeing our work for PayPal lit up on the huge digital billboards at Waterloo station. And the front cover of NME. Epic.

  2. Being recognised as an 'Emerging Star' by both Omnicom and British Interactive Media Association (BIMA)

  3. Realising that the Creative Department doesn’t really hate me… well not that much anyway.

 

 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY INTO PLANNING.

 

I like to think I drink my own coolaid when I advise to try loads of different things…

 

Whilst studying, I worked as a Fashion Blogger and Journalist for The St Petersburg Times in Russia and as an International Press Manager for Colombia Fashion Week. *Caveat* I was obsessed with making it in the industry and had to appease my language professors by doing something productive in my year abroad…

Upon graduating I worked for a Creative Agency that specialised in fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands as an Account Manager. Finally admitting to myself that spreadsheets weren’t really my thing, I moved into a Creative Research position whilst pursuing Junior Planner roles. Finally the gems at RAPP took a chance on me (!) and I’m somehow still managing to convince them I’m alright at the job. Some days more convincingly than others.

 

 

HOW DO YOU WIND DOWN?

 

Anything that requires zero mental effort: I'm currently watching series 1-3 of Love Island and enjoying regular quote-off’s with one of our Planning Parters (a northern irish male).

 

 

FAVOURITE AD?

 

Anything produced by BETC Paris. Particular faves include Cilit Bang’s 'The Mechanic’ (makes the mundane truly marvelous) and Canal+’s ‘Bear’ (just for that bit where the director yells "I DON’T GIVE A SH*T”).

And Vodafone’s 'The Kiss’ by Grey London still makes me cry, every time I see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

See more from our 'Planners Unmasked' series here

 

 

 

 

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