Planning is proactive NOT reactive
Ask an expert to define a planner's role and the chances are that you will get a very vague answer. At least, this was true in my case. I was fortunate enough to meet some of the gurus of my field. Unfortunately, none of them ever gave a clear definition of what a planner was actually supposed to do. Well, you can't define a planner, can you? That's the best answer I got anyway.
However, I strongly believe that there has got to be a definition for the subject - everyone else has one for theirs. It's time to challenge all those no-definitions "definition" of planners, and maybe learn something useful on the way. Let's start this discussion by giving planner a defined role. But, where to begin?
First of all, planners are not just in advertising. In fact, advertising stole planning from the pre-existing services i.e. military, architecture etc.
Let's look into the finest details of the subject and understand what planning does. Planning in any industry or sector, prepares the businesses for forecast potential risk factors and then recommends solutions to counter them whilst developing new areas for them e.g. A new sector, service, category or goal.
I think it wouldn't be wrong if we were to define planner as a person who projects his thoughts forward in time and space to influence events before they occur rather than merely responding to events as they occur.
Planning is a state of mind NOT merely a discipline
Though it was built in around 2630 B.C.E., We can still learn some valuable lessons of planning from the great pyramid of Djoser.
Think big, give some space to your mind and put that seven points communications brief aside for a little while. Once you have done that, try appreciating the science and art of pyramids. Indeed, it was a mind of a planner who thought well about everything and its placement, who exactly knew what would appeal to the masses and who could add lasting beauty to clay and sand for generations to come.
You could ask what architectural planning has in common with communications planning. I would say everything - The job of planning is to design solutions for potential problems and then add sense to them by making them relate to human nature. It's not all science, but a balance combination of sense and creativity.
The architect of the pyramid of Djoser could have made a simple massive hall which would have perfectly served the purpose to the given task i.e. "bury the dead king". However, the genius thought of turning it into a brand known as... 'The pyramid of Djoser.'
It was not just the idea which made Djoser different, but the whole experience it offers. Building a rectangular structure is not a very difficult task, but mastering it with the enclosure wall, the great trench, the roofed colonnade entrance, the south court, the south tomb, the step pyramid, the burial chamber, the north chamber, the serdab court and the heb-sed court is something not every rectangular shaped building can have.
Adding all those details made it into something which holds value and recognition after all these years.
Imhotep (the man who built the pyramid of Djoser), the first architect, engineer, physician in history known by name, didn't just spend his time understanding and finding out facts on different kinds of burial chambers for the kings all over the world.
He may well have done, but one thing for sure is that he didn't just finish working at that point. The point at which planning is today is not just being creative with what we have, but totally forgetting what we know and making things different from what we already have.
In its true sense, planning is not a domain like marketing, finance or even physics for that matter - instead, it's something universal, applicable to all fields and categories:
A good lawyer is the one who plans his case effectively, does research thoroughly and then finally has the courage to work his magic in the court room, based on facts and findings. And the story won't be much different for a military general, a good financial officer or a chief executive of some Fortune 500. "Planning is the origin of success".