Get a job as an advertising Planner: tips from AMV BBDO

This week is one of my last posts in my series of how to get into advertising, with only 5 left to go. But this weeks is with advertising giant AMV BBDO, where I spoke to Rory Gallery about how to get a job as an advertising Planner at agencies such as AMV BBDO.

After graduating with a Masters in Advertising and a starting his Planning career at McCann, before eventually moving to AMV BBDO, I decided to speak to Rory Gallery about how to get a job as an advertising Planner. In this interview we discuss how he got to where he is in his career right now, what advice he would offer to graduates and budding Planners and what graduates can learn from his career progression.

Get a job as an advertising Planner1. What is your day to day role?

Everyday in ‘planning’ is different, but in a nutshell it’s all about, taking briefs from clients, developing a strategy with the team and working together to get to a brilliant creative solution. Then you need to get it through consumer research.

Another important part is keeping a regular track of how your clients business is performing off the back of the work you have created for them. You could be working across an array of projects and encounter any (or all) of these tasks across a day in the life of a Planner.

2. How did you get a job as an advertising Planner?

University did help. I studied History & Sociology for my degree, which had a lot of skills that come in useful for my role as a Planner. I also studied MSc Advertising in Dublin, which taught me that basics of the industry I didn’t know.

The bottom line though is that whilst university sets your aptitude, the world of work is really what teaches you how to do your job. I would look at university as a helpful foundation but the real world of work is what really shapes you. So my big advice is to get into somewhere on work experience and work hard from day one, because the best way to learn is by doing.

3. What would you say was the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

Some would say my Irish accent… I now have to talk slower.

Personally, I think the biggest challenge I had was to get interesting creative ideas over the line. I have been part of campaigns that involved writing a book; developing a documentary and creating an online reality TV show. None of them would have happened without incredible persistence and hard work from the teams I worked with – and as a member of the team, that meant me pulling my socks up too.

“The greatest Planners take what they learn from outside influencers and apply it to their day-to-day jobs.”

4. What would you say AMV BBDO look for from Planners?

Interesting people that show they’re interested in the world. Showing that you are well read about the world of advertising and marketing is of course hugely beneficial, but the greatest Planners take what they learn from outside influencers and apply it to their day-to-day jobs.

5. What advice would you give to get a job as an advertising Planner?

Creative teams develop a book of their creative work. I personally feel all Planners should create a book of their planning work. Anyone who wants to get into planning should take a number of brands or briefs and write a short strategic response to demonstrate an aptitude for planning. It doesn’t have to be long either.

Think about: what is their problem? Who is their audience? What should the brand say? Just write a few lines, keep it short and conversational. Anytime I have had a job interview, the Head of Planning has responded well to me being prepared and able to talk about strategy in the meeting. It shows you care and it demonstrates that you know what you are talking about.

6. Are there any steps you recommend to get into Planning?

Make contact with as many people as you can that you might know in advertising. Demonstrate that you really care about advertising by keeping a blog or developing a book of your own.

7. What has been your career highlight so far?

I worked on a campaign for Tayto Crisps in Ireland. The creative idea involved us developing a fictional book about the brand character’s life, which was designed to be uplifting against the backdrop of a tough economic environment, it went to number one in the Irish book charts.

I was at a graduation of a mate of mine who is a Doctor. A group of his friends who were all graduating as Doctors too came up to tell me how great and funny was. It was kind of special to think that people who work in an industry like that, could be as impressed as us with an advertising idea.