The APG Creative Strategy Awards a few weeks back brought with them much discussion in the UK trade press about the Future of Planning.
And what a future it is! The official word is that "it's a good time to be a planner" and even that "Planners will be the creative directors of the future" (Giles Hedger, Leo Burnett). I recently received an email asking if I knew of any suitable applicants for a "Planning Gig." Planning, it seems, is the new Rock 'n Roll.
But we're not going to get by with our trusty old tools of the trade. No, the Planner of the Future is going to have to embrace (sic) all manner of new Planning Channels from Content Planning to Channel Planning to Cultural Planning to Behavioural Planning to Real-Time Planning (is there also Unreal-Time planning?) to Micro Planning to Creative Planning.
Gosh. I felt quite overwhelmed when I realised the enormity of what my job entails. And wondered if I'm going to be able to get to grips with it. But then I remembered various projects I'd been involved in - many of them in the last century. A portfolio anlaysis for a drinks giant done up to Management Consultancy standard but for no extra cost. A delve into neurophysiology and the human memory in a paper to disprove that "ads have to be recalled to be effective". An anthropological essay on mother and baby relationships and baby care in African markets.
It's great that Planning is getting itself heard and on the agenda and that's there's such confidence in the industry as to its future. But most of us - including Planners of the Past - have always been polymaths.