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How Not to Plan - A Review by Neil Godber

How Not To Plan is a wonderfully illuminating and insightful book that any and everyone working in Planning (and beyond) can find inspiration, reassurance, consolation and wisdom from. The book takes the articles from Les Binet and Sarah Carter and themes them across an amazing range of meaty subjects we all wrestle with day to day, from wider issues of setting objectives, budgets and media, target audiences and evaluation and the combinatorial power of the other ‘P’s’, to more detailed (and often as important) elements of communications such as the power of humour, music and fur. The format of the book works well to avoid portraying Planning as a seemingly easy way to success by airing examples of how not to do something and how real life complications, time pressures, lack of knowledge and neophilia often compromise proper Planning. The authors then quickly turn this into proper best practice with a series of very useful essential check-lists and handy case studies. Given the approach of the book, the simple practical and sometimes exasperated tone is thoroughly entertaining and makes you want to ask them for advice on your own work. As they say near the end of the book ‘It seems the world of advertising and marketing is unusually full of frustrating bollocks’ – something we’ve all privately thought but possibly haven’t said before. It’s one of those books that makes you want to read it once a year to stay on the straight and narrow. Now to plough through the ‘Useful Reading’ section.


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