Experience (and wisdom) talks
He’s done it again
Iain just wrote another brilliant post – this time on what makes a good digital planner / planning.
I can easily identify from this list some things I’m better at and some weaker points and I guess it’s alright, we all have a stronger and weaker bits but the most important points for me are #3 and #10:
3. Be able to expand and contract.
Apart from Iain’s point about the need to assume different roles – from a minor strategic polish to a big strategic lead there is one more thing. The nature of our work is fascinatingly vast. I can be a comms planner in the morning, content strategist at noon and Information architect at night so you have to have beyond basic knowledge on a vast range of stuff. And unlike traditional advertising the fluidity of roles is big part of digital – it’s really so much more than writing a good creative brief.
I can think of another related point which might be relevant to some digital planners working in small and medium agencies but perhaps not so if you work in a big one and have your own account /client. I don’t have a single client I’m assigned to but rather there are few long terms projects I’m involved with and some projects I cheap in for anything between half hour to a whole week.
So you have to be able ‘get it’ and to digest quite a lot of information in quite a short time. You will most certainly never have the time to learn ‘the brand’ or interrogate it’s role in people’s lives etc but you will have to have a broader understanding of the different platforms a brand can engage with users and come up fairly quickly with the best possible solutions, depends on context, audience and budget. If you don’t have this ability you can find yourself in a situation best described by Walter in Big Lebowski:
So you have no frame of reference, Donny. You’re like a child who wanders in in the middle of a movie and wants to know….
10. Love it!
And as Iain concluded, the most important thing is to be absolutely passionate about what you do and to really live the culture from the inside. Unlike advertising planners that really need to understand ‘the brand’ and it’s role in people’s life, the only way to be good at digital is really to live and breath the internet and digital culture and to always aspire to make it even better.