Um hmm well it really IS 2007 innit?

Hello peeps – and apologies for a prolonged period of silence… but I was resting between assignments (call it Christmas) and wanted to get my head back again.

I’ve posted about blogging anxiety before now this is blogging regret – the passing of time unmarked… I just wanted a break from  the verbal punctuation of time.  If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no blogger in the vicinity… you get the idea.

I will try to push the blog in a rather different direction – to point towards bits and pieces in the webiste in the vain hope that it will encourage me to start posting fresh content and cleaning up the links.  Though I will still reference things I’ve been working on.

There’s so much good blogging content out there that it seems a little daft to compete so until I’m hemmed in by other planning websites methingks I really ought to stick to what I used to do – and nobody else yet does.

Things to look out for:  1/ I will be finishing the Audience item very shortly and posting a catalogue of book reviews.

_32132100_leo_planning_dpt2/ I will edit up my interviews of Romanian planning heads and a chief exec now that January is upon us and the Romanians and Bulgarians have landed (well nearly) in the EC. Here’s a pic I stole which features the entire planning department at Burnetts in Bucharest. Which I love because a) it looks like a promo photo of a string sextet who are about to play Salzburg b) its the only example I’ve ever seen of an entire planning department  – I’ve never heard of such a thing – planners usually get grumpy about being summmoned together – ALWAYS utter the bad joke about what collective term you use to describe a group of planners (its a concept…), plead heavy workload and leave. So congrats to the LB collective.

3/ Costin sent me a link to an video interview I did with him last summer all about planning  – so I expect to link to that and quote myself. In mitigation they seem to have lost one of my double chins so consider it a vanity link – I really don’t look that good in public and am not nearly so coherent.

4/ I will be interviewing Mark Earls about his  book on herd thinking which comes out at the end of this month. By which time I expect he will have assembled a launch posse… otherwise well what’s the point? Are you thinking what we’re thinking?

5/ There’s a plot in the works with Russell about films but more of that later when we get around to sitting down and planning it…

6/ I’ll keep you posted on the PR project – which is my attempt to gather in one room all of the planners working in PR in London as a specialism – if you’re one of them and I haven’t already spoken to you.. call me.

And on Jan 3rd the skies parted and I finally got the headspace for some  thinking on the  emerging territories in planning.  Just before the IPA issued their (don’t panic) bellwether report which in exchange for £300 suggests that in addition to running advertising and every other kind of paid for communications that ad agencies were going to have to embrace film making, deal broking, data aggregation, and media channel creation. In the next 10 years. One question – in 10 years clients will be doing all of these things. But why will they need agencies to do it for them?  Where’s the business logic in farming it out?   Back to my personal epiphany – this year I shall be mostly grouping  planning under 6 headings – messaging, audiences, interaction, channels, content, and reputation management. Enough talk of brand building – its about reputation and advertising is but one strand among many which builds it. Its time we cut the umbilical chord and took a less advertising centric view of how communications is run. Advertising isn’t going to take over the world. It is going to survive by concentrating on the knitting. And that for advertising. Is messaging. So there.

Anything else? – well its January and the month for filing. I have a new mobile – which means hours of trimming down Outlook and trying to get my phone to be as clever as my computer. By talking to it. Which has given me pause as I go through past projects and lists of contacts. And am forcefully reminded of how many friends and neighbours I seem to have acquired in the last few years. If I haven’t answered an email you’ve written to me in the last few months it wasn’t because I didn’t want to – I’ll try to do a little catching up on mails in the coming weeks. Just that the first degree of separation is becoming increasingly crowded and its a struggle to keep it personal. Which is what I  really want to do.  Of all the many Christmas messages and updates I received from all over the place the one which stays with me was from planner Adib Nachabe who told me that his daughter was born.. on the same day that his home country of Lebanon was invaded. Just a reminder that the news headlines directly affect friends and colleagues.. not such a big planet after all.

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