The 10 most important things I learned in my first year as account planner


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The ten things that stuck out as most important in my first year as an account planner. Some are pretty "DUH" but sometimes we all need to be reminded of things that are staring us right in the face.

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  • Some pertain directly to the day to day of planning, and some are larger edicts. Some I learned within my first week, and some took a little longer. Some were brand new, and some were reminders. \n
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  • It’s hard sometimes, because we have the tendency to want to DO, to take action immediately. But the amount you can learn if you sit back and LISTEN without trying to make something actionable (at first) or interjecting you own thoughts is STAGGERING.\nNot just at work. At this point, a planner’s ears have to be open across the board. Follow other planners on Twitter or Tumblr. Read blogs, magazines...always be looking for things that you think are interesting. Be inherently curious.\n
  • People say “Don’t be afraid of failure” and that’s easier said than done. Failing doesn’t feel good, and when you’ve worked hard on something that faceplants, it hurts.\nLet it. It’s stupid not to. But LEARN FROM YOUR FAILURE. Keep it as a frame of reference, because it’s only a tool if it teaches you how to do something different and better in the long run.\n
  • This is HUGELY important, and one of the harder\nconcepts I’ve had to wrap my brain around. Not every idea you have will be a home run. Most are bunts and base hits, actually. \nBut having those smaller ideas is just as, if not more, important as having those out of the park game changer ones. The small ladder up to the big in the long run.\n
  • If you’ve gotten as far as you’ve gotten, chances are there’s no idea you’re going to have that’s completely off base, and the great thing about an opinion is just’s an opinion. Everyone’s entitled to their own. Your superiors (should) WANT you to voice your opinions, and if you end up thinking of something they’ve already thought of already, THAT’S GREAT. It means you’re on the right track.\n
  • Digital and Social are are integral, not optional. But they are parts of a whole. They are iterations, and they are nothing without the right idea. A planner’s job is to consider the larger implications. To give a through line to all the moving parts.\n
  • There are CONSTANT right answers, because a good campaign is almost like a living organism, growing and changing and adapting. If you only have a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail. One tool isn’t going to be the solution across the \nboard.\n
  • There will be grunt work.You don’t have to love it, but it’s part of the deal, and you never really can tell what you end up learning and contributing in the long run doing the routine tasks. As boring as it can sometimes be, it IS a huge opportunity, if you make it one. People take note when you’re able to contribute and speak knowledgeably about something unexpected.\n
  • There are lots of “experts” out there. Some people know what they’re talking about, and some don’t. Just because someone has more experience than you have doesn’t mean that they’re automatically right all the time. There’s almost ALWAYS some validity in an initial gut instinct. Don’t let someone who may or may not be an expert dissuade you from that.\n
  • There are lots out there, but they’re sometimes hard to find. Get extremely acquainted with the brief format you’ll be writing in, and WRITE WRITE WRITE. The first couple you write are going to be pretty bad. Sorry. That’s just how it goes. It’s going to be frustrating, because it’s a really different way of writing, of thinking. More than anything, BE OPEN TO FEEDBACK. Ask the senior planners to annihilate your brief with a red pen, then edit it and ask them to do it again (but be patient...most likely they’ll be open to help but have other things to do too).\n
  • Figure out what it is you want to achieve, and personally find ways to make it happen. Lobby for yourself. Ask for more work.\nIf someone helps on the way, that is fantastic. There are amazing people out there, and it’s important to remember that you CAN’T do everything on your own. But no one’s going to write your ticket except for you.\n
  • The 10 most important things I learned in my first year as account planner

    1. 1. The 1o MOST IMPORTANT things I’ve learned as an account planner.anna lipmann@MsLipmann
    2. 2. I’ve learned A LOT over the time I’ve been a planner, but 10 specific things stand out.
    3. 3. 1. Listen. 2. Read. 3. All ideas are valid. 4. Speak your mind. 5. Consider the bigger picture. 6. There is no single right answer.7. Do the stuff no one else wants to do. 8. Trust your gut. 9. Study the brief. 10. Your success is up to you.
    4. 4. All Ideas Are Valid.
    5. 5. Consider the bigger picture.
    6. 6. Do the stuff no one else wants to do.
    7. 7. Stu dy Th e B rie f