“Academic planners”

It’s going around. Over the course of the past year I’ve heard folks refer, when elevator pitching planners say, “They’re an academic planner.”

We’re not academic at all. We pull from all things practical. We solve for living, breathing human tensions. We work with creatives and own the pivotal creative brief, for goodness sake.

Sure, some of us have been educated in “account planning”, but that’s really to train our dragon. What I mean by that is fine-tuning our sense, gut, and ability to harness big ideas. This is the point of any and all experiences of a planner.

In fact, there’s no basis for academic anything in account planning. The best planners pull from a variety of sources. We mix, match, tug, and pull as is the course for getting to great ideas. We’re born that way. Some people, really the best planners IMO, are natural dragon tamers- we seek dragons. We thrive in the pursuit and outcome. And perhaps most importantly here is that no two dragons are ever the same.

It’s short-sighted and there are simply more descriptive, more creative ways to describe someone in the role. Let’s not call planners ‘academic’.  It’s going around and the usage is big time out of context for strategically minded creative talent. You just simply can’t be theoretical at planning. There’s no such thing.