What is a Comms Planner vs. a Media Planner vs. a Brand Planner vs. a Digital Strategist?

Larissa Hayden
Nov 18, 2016 · 3 min read

Who is Who At An Agency?

Comms Planner

A comms planner provides strategic rigor to the implementation of the idea, ensuring integration of the work between creative and media. Their key outputs include messaging frameworks, comms tasks, tactical briefs, and ecosystems.

Brand Planner

Also called “Account Planner” or in some smaller advertising agencies, simply the “Planner” or “Strategist.” Confusing, no?

Media Planners

Called “Comms Planners” in some media agencies.

Digital Strategist/ Social Strategist/ Digital Guru….

May just be called “Strategist” especially at digital or social agencies.

How Do Comms Planners and Media Planners Compare? How do they Overlap?

Here is a simple Venn Diagram that outlines how BBDO Comms Planning compares to our counterparts at a media agency.

How Do We Keep The Planners Straight?

In summary, we’ve found at BBDO that a simple way to talk about the different types of planners is to think of the Who, What, When, How, and Where of communications.

Brand Planners focus on “who” we’re talking to and “what” we’re saying.

Comms Planners gives us “how” the idea shows up and also “when.”

Media Planners tell us “where” the idea shows up in media.


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Comms Planning

Sharing strategic knowledge through collective experience from the BBDO New York Communications Planning team.

Larissa Hayden

Written by

Connecting the dots.

Comms Planning

Sharing strategic knowledge through collective experience from the BBDO New York Communications Planning team.