Savvy Strategy Skills

NEXT ONLINE COURSE: 4x Half Days on 4th, 7th, 11th & 14th July 2022 (Times TBC)

This course fast-tracks the wider skills every planner needs as they manage the strategy process from client brief to developing and selling ideas. 

It covers the essential skills of management, influence and personal impact that will help you take a lead in any discipline, and bring the team and the client with you.

Course Description

This course will help you develop confidence in leading the process.  It will help you land the best thinking, understand the brief behind the brief, even convene a workshop of stakeholders you’ve never met, or run another with partner agencies and colleagues to generate ideas….And deliver the presentation and persuade everyone you’re right. 


This training course will help you become a more influential strategist, equipping you with some real-world techniques that turn so-called ‘soft skills’ into trusty skills that work extremely hard for you, your employer and your clients. 

What does it cover?

The course takes place over two weeks, with four 3-hour sessions:


Session 1: Getting started

This is about nailing the brief, and making sense of the messy bit that comes after. We’ll cover how and where to start, how to make structure your superpower, and the art of distillation. 


Session 2: Facilitation

The ‘how to run a workshop’ workshop. You’ll learn how to plan and run them, along with exercises and techniques to help you stage-manage milestone meetings and improvise in the ones that aren’t working. 


Session 3: Ideation

Not every planner works with a creative team, but everyone can learn how to think creatively. Knowing how to spark ideas - on your own or with others - can help prevent you from getting stuck at the moment that really matters to clients. 


Session 4: Persuasion

It’s not enough to be right - you have to bring people with you. We’ll talk about how to structure an argument and tell a good story to better sell in your strategy.

Who is it for?

Anyone who uses or needs to use planning and strategy in their role but could do with a fast-track rigorous guide to best practice, with lots of examples and tools.  

Particularly planners and strategists in smaller agencies, B2B agencies, and more specialised parts of the strategy discipline. You could be new to planning or working for an agency where there isn’t an established planning heritage or function. You might be involved with digital, design, social media, PR, experiential or media where classic ‘account planning’ isn’t taught. You may be a client and have responsibility for communications or brand strategy. This course will help with all of those and will be as practical and applied as possible, relevant to strategists working in consumer comms or B2B.

Course Information
Dates & Times

4x Half Days on 4th, 7th, 11th and 14th July 2022 (Times TBC)



(*APG Membership required)


This course will be run online via Zoom. You will receive the details once your booking is confirmed.

Course Enquiries

If you are interested in attending a Training Course, please e-mail Alison Trotter at


Course Tutor

James Caig

James Caig is a planner, trainer and facilitator who has led strategy teams in media, creative, digital and CRM agencies. He has won IPA Excellence Awards, started APG West and has been a judge for the APG Creative Strategy Awards and IPA Excellence Diploma. Last year he devised and ran Persuasive Presentations training for more than 70 people



James is an inspiring and engaging presenter and trainer, and I really like the way he laced the whole thing with his personal experience and interests. I appreciated his emphasis on finding your own individual approach and leveraging your own interests. I also like how he gave us so many models, so many different ways to think about things. The warm ups and ice breakers were a really nice way to kick off and to build familiarity.

- Planner, PR Agency

It should be a must for every experienced planner; clear, tangible, practical, inspiring and fun.

- Strategic Planning Director, Marketing Agency


I really enjoyed the course, lots of new ideas and helpful strategies to use. I liked how broad it was too; covering many diciplines within strategy.

- Senior Brand Consultant, Design Agency


Brilliant. Interactive, engaging and thoughtful. Lots of transferrable skills to take away and play with in my day-to-day.

- Creative Strategist, PR Agency

APG Training Course Cancellation Policy

Should you cancel your booking for an APG training course, the following cancellation policy will apply: For a cancellation made more than 30 calendar days in advance of the training course, a full rebate will be applied. For a cancellation more than ten calendar days in advance of the training course, a rebate of 50% will be applied. For a cancellation less than ten days in advance of the training course no rebate will be applied.

Attendance on Training Courses is entirely at the discretion of APG. There is no automatic right to attendance.