What is a “communications planner”?

And how is that different from a traditional “strategic planner”?

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A brand planner focuses on shaping the creative message and it’s effectiveness in achieving the brands business goals.

A comms planner focuses on where when and how that message shows up and the effectiveness of the media plan in achieving the communications goals (that are built to achieve the business goals).


Thanks for posting this! Just shared with a potential client who didn't understand why I don't do comms or connections planning:)
PS. I'm former WK too

AKQA can help with that.


The easiest way I’ve found to explain it is:
Brand Strategists identify “what” story a brand should tell
Comms Planners outline “how” to tell that story. Outlining how to connect that story to audiences through channels, partnerships, tech, content, etc.

Working closely with brand strategists to connect the brand story to consumers out in the world and then working closely with creative teams to provide rigor, inspiration, or expand upon their ideas.

Comms can sometimes get a bad rap that it’s all frameworks, basic awareness/engagement/convert funnels and channel mixes but it can be more than that. It requires a deeper understanding of how ideas can connect with audiences.


Why is strategic. (Branding) How is tactical. (Marketing) Brand strategy is your why. ‘What’ is the product or service.


I work in strategy, but for a media agency. My role is both comms planning and media strategy. My job here is to take the creative idea and help bring it to life in the right channels/with the right partners. It’s equal parts making sure the creative idea comes through and the business objectives are achieved.


Comms planners are also evolving until CX / Engagement these days as well. More nuanced skillets though.


Channel planner. Closer to media than a creative agency planner


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