What is Communications Planning? How To Explain It To Your Mom

This post is dedicated to all the parents out there with no idea what their children do for a living.

Julian Cole
Feb 1, 2017 · 2 min read

Mom,

In Comms Planning, we help determine what brands need to tell people to get them to buy a product (and how to go about telling them). We work out the best place to deliver our message, making sure everything lines up with our client’s brand identity and the channel it runs on. For example, we decide if an ad works best on television, Facebook or radio, and then we help a team of creatives tailor that ad to one or more of those channels.

Mom, if you are still struggling to understand, think of my role like an architect.

The role of the communications planner is like an architect building a house. We work closely with builders (Account + Creative Teams) to ensure that the house (the campaign) can be built. We partner with construction workers (Media Partners + Producers) to understand the landscape in which the house will live, and apply expertise to ensure that the plan will come together in the most efficient way possible.

OK — so if that doesn’t make sense, think about my role like a car dealer.

If you went to a Ford dealership, and the salesman started talking about a Mustang’s warranty before you had even seen the car, you’d probably feel put off. However, if you had test driven a Mustang and read online about how it compares to other cars, that information about the warranty would feel more important to your decision. In essence, we make sure to tell you about the warranty when you’re deciding between the Mustang and another car; we analyze the consumer’s experience to determine how, when and where to talk to them on behalf of a brand. We also help soup the ‘car’ before you drive it off the lot, tailoring and optimizing what ‘parts’ need an additional tweak to unleash the real horsepower.

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Comms Planning

Sharing strategic knowledge through collective experience.

Julian Cole

Written by

Runs Planning Dirty, ex-Head of Comms Planning BBDO & BBH, teaches Strategy at Skillshare, Co-Founder of @PlanningSalon, bleeds Parra Eels/Essendon/NY Jets

Comms Planning

Sharing strategic knowledge through collective experience.

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