Freelance Connections Planner

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We are a creativity company that delivers business impact by involving people in brand experiences.
In doing so, we exist to: Find the bit. Make it big. Let people say yes
We: Seek Unconvention, Work Hard, Laugh Hard, Love Well (our values).

To achieve this, the Connections department will: design and steward strategies that creatively drive ideas into the world and enable those ideas to move to all the places where they can meaningfully connect with people.

Summary: (The Elevator Pitch – “who I am”): The Freelance Connections Planner helps fulfill the strategic connections vision for carving new paths for how brands should interact with people and driving ideas into the world in more powerful and impactful ways across all advertising channels (i.e. TV/Video, Radio/Audio, OOH, Print, & Digital: [High Impact, Display, Video, Audio, SEM, etc.])

Role: (“What I do”): ”): Connections Planners are responsible for translating the connections plan into functional media plan, articulating the role of media for each campaign and stewardship of media planning activities for assigned accounts to ensure overall quality and accuracy. This Planner will have a strong integrated channel planning background and will partner closely with the Connections Supervisor and/or Associate Connections Director.

Individuals should display a proactive solution-oriented approach to client challenges. Thinking should be innovative and demonstrate creativity that is drawn from their knowledge and experience of best practices in media and knowledge of a client's business. This thinking should be applied in developing and enhancing media plans as well as addressing business challenges that may lie outside of media that help to achieve stated objectives.

Connections Planner should demonstrate; excellent organizational and campaign management skills, strategic capacity, analytical capacity, and leadership skills. This position will work with supporting Connections Planners, Supervisor and Associate Connections Director to train, develop and evaluate junior staff. Connections Planner should also demonstrate proven ability to work with intra-departmental teams across the organization to provide holistic, integrated solutions.

Accountabilities: (“What I am responsible for”: detail Processes, Systems, People, Policies owned by the role):

  • Assist Connections Supervisor in development of integrated communication plan(s) recommendations – Cross-channel Planning & mix of Digital (eCommerce & Brand).
    • Understand advanced methodology and data behind 3rd party research tools and run the needed reports to assist in media recommendation development
    • Gather, analyze and disseminate data to provide sound, strategic, consumer-insights driven media recommendations
    • Deliver POVs/position papers on key client issues and/or client opportunities
    • Make appropriate recommendations for the maintenance or growth of the media plan based on client activity
    • Seek client approval of plans and recommendation on a timely basis
    • Research incremental opportunities for client advertising
  • Ensure proper execution of cross-channe communication plans:
    • Maintain accurate budget control and flow of media activity, and proactively, consistently update client contact(s) through periodic analyses and projection reports
    • Implement and monitor digital buys/schedules, maintain campaign results
    • Compile monthly digital reconciliation against actuals for billing
    • May be responsible for billing management in accordance with accounting protocol
    • Prepare media authorizations per approved plans/project requests
    • Maintain aspects of client billing and budgeting process
    • Monitor media budget for campaign and issue required analyses and projection reports
    • Maintain accuracy of planning costs / rates
    • Ability to execute V-look up and pivot tables for data analyses
    • Media trending, planning, forecasting assistance to Connections Supervisor
  • Contribute to and participate in new business efforts as needed by the Connections Director
  • Bring innovations to processes to improve work flow, planning, buying and reporting
  • Contributing client plan development and overseeing contributions by junior staff
  • Assist the Connections Director and Sr. Connections Planner in mentoring junior staff on best practices related to research, planning, buying and stewardship. This also includes participating in the hiring process, training, and feedback/performance evaluations, and career development.
  • Acting with high integrity to maintain strong, collaborative, productive working relationships across:
    • All agency departments, to ensure media billings are delivered and deadlines/client needs are met
    • Client (where/when applicable), to help create a seamless communications process
    • Sales representatives and media partners

Competencies: (Skills I have):

  • Bachelor's degree required; concentration in advertising, marketing, business administration, and/or communications preferred
  • Entry level role; related media internships preferred and previous assistant planner role highly recommended
  • Good writing and verbal communication skills (including presentation skills)
  • Strong analytic skills and ability to relate results to client business objectives
  • Enthusiastic, passionate and willing to work hard; participation in team, agency, and industry initiatives
  • Excellent time management and multi-tasking skills
  • Strong quantitative skills, including analytical abilities and math proficiency
  • Previous experience working within 3rd party ad server tools such as Atlas, DCM, Sizmek is a strong plus
  • Ability to work within a team, handle multiple assignments and meet tight deadlines
  • Extremely detail-oriented, with clear and proven organizational skills
  • Keep abreast of industry trends through trade news, industry workshops / seminars and track current events
  • Digitally savvy, with specific proficiency at MS Suite: Excel, Word, PowerPoint

Qualifications and Tools of the Trade: You are comfortable with online tools such as; ComScore, Ad Intel, Party Ad Serving Technologies, Marin, Ad Exchange. Not required but preferable –familiarity with offline tools such as Scarborough, Simmons/MRI, Strata or other broadcast buying software and SQAD.

Reports To: Media Supervisor
Where can I go from here? (Potential career paths) Sr. Connection Planner, Connections Supervisor, Associate Connections Director

To apply for this position, please email heidi.sutter@coleweber.com