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Just For Kicks: Media Planner Survival Kit

Being a media planner is tough. The schedules are grueling and the job even more so. Advertising is a cutthroat industry, and it's no surprise that there's a premium for a top-notch media planner. Thus, it would help if a greenhorn media planner actually got armed with a survival kit the day she got hired.

Oh. No survival kit? No worries. Get a good cloth bag and the items on our list, and you're probably all set: 
  1. The book How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Your Survival Kit shouldn't be without this. Being a media planner and surviving a day in the grueling world of advertising has to have a media planner armed to deal with, navigate through, negotiate and survive people. Not everyone is nice. In fact, expect to be treated curtly at times. But as for you, you have to remain genuinely nice. Even sweet. Not saccharine-sweet. Genuinely sweet. Why? It makes things easier that way. It gets what you want, faster. But in case you get into a face-off with a member of the corporate Bitch Squad, make sure you're still a little tough on the inside.
  2. A dress you can dump into a handbag and still wear presentably. Being a media planner, you have to be ready to attend functions, parties and face clients with little notice. Living in the metro gives you the handicap of travel time, or the lack of it. Don't think that you could still go home to change if you're fresh (or haggard) from a meeting at 4PM in order to attend a 6PM function. Forget going home. Bring a dress you could change into from a mall comfort room stall.
  3. If you have a car, bring a pair of versatile heels everywhere you go. Refer to #2 for the reason.
  4. Breath spray, breath strips, mouth wash, or better yet, a tiny toothbrush and toothpaste kit. Talking with clients the whole day long, grabbing coffee, quick meals, or even taking sit-down meals with clients and colleagues can take its toll on a media planner's breath. First impressions are crucial, so make sure your breath won't kill it.
  5. A planner. Pardon the pun, but it's exactly what you need. Juggling a schedule needs you to be on top of all those tasks and goals. Better live prepared and have a way to note your schedules on the fly. Paper or notebook planners are great, Blackberries and smartphone-based planners, better.

There are other things that a media planner needs to have in her survival guide. Surely you need a subscription to magazines that give you information on how to stay ahead of your game, marketing and advertising books, as well as psychology and neuroscience magazine and website subscriptions. Think about the things you shouldn't live without as a media planner, if you're already a veteran of the business, and collect it into one convenient bag. If you're a newbie, seek guidance from the veterans of the industry. As they say, a prepared warrior is a triumphant warrior. 

Here's to being the best media planner in the industry!

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