APG Chair Urges Planners To Lead Industry Evolution

APG Chair Urges Planners To Lead Industry Evolution
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“To survive in today’s industry, agencies must change. And planning must be at the van-guard of this evolution” – that is the agenda set by APG Chair Jason Lonsdale for The Communications Council’s new IPA Strategic Planning course which runs in Sydney and Melbourne next month.

The three-day residential program, which will be chaired in Sydney by Lonsdale (executive planning director at Saatchi & Saatchi), and in Melbourne by Justin Graham (chief strategy officer at M&C Saatchi Australasia), will explore the challenges and opportunities of ‘new-fashioned’ strategic planning, providing planners with the tools and knowledge to be the lead strategic brain for their agency’s clients.

Preparing participants for the program, Lonsdale said: “We are unmistakably living in a period of massive upheaval –a period in which consumers both avoid and distrust our ads, and in which our once-loyal clients question our contribution to their profitability. There is an opportunity and a responsibility here for planners to steer their agencies in the right direction: away from the old ‘brand-out’ thinking, and towards acting ‘people-in’; towards solving actual business problems.”

He continued: “New-fashioned strategic planning is about evolution, not revolution. New approaches that marry proven philosophies with fresh thinking, creating new tools for a new world.”

Both Lonsdale and Graham have played an instrumental role in ensuring content is localized for the Australian market and aligned with the APG vision, championing unexpected thinking.

Graham said: “This course is about strategy in action, we are handpicking speakers both in and around the industry to provide a balance of inspiration and grounded skills. Importantly it should be a lot of fun, the best young thinkers in the room part discovering, part challenging what it means to be a brilliant strategist in 2015.”

Tony Hale, CEO of The Communications Council, said: “As two of Australia’s leading strategists, Jason and Justin bring a wealth of experience to the course – from working with many of the world’s leading agencies and brands, to raising professional standards in planning through their experience on the APG committee.”

Joining the course chairs, confirmed speakers to date include: UM chief strategy officer Sophie Price; VICE Australia head of content Alex Light; and ChapterSF co-founder Gareth Kay, speaking via Google Hangout from San Francisco.

Running from 24th to 26th May in Sydney and 31st May to 2nd June in Melbourne, the course is designed for strategic planners with two or more years’experience or account managers making the transition to planning.

Talks will cover:

  • Challenges and opportunities of new-fashioned strategic planning
  • Dirty Planning: How to lie and cheat your way to better strategies
  • Planning on the other side of the fence: a client’s perspective
  • Vice, content creation and the new rules of engagement
  • The relationship between data, stories and creative
  • How to use engineering to make your thinking work harder
  • If technology is the new Creative, who’s the new Strategist?

Hale continued: “This is the second of our IPA experiential programs to run in Australia, introduced to allow members access to a truly intensive and immersive learning experience. This course requires planners to remove themselves from the agency, re-focus, live and build close-working relationships with their peers, and interact with some of the best minds in their field.”

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