This week, I thought I'd take a couple of minutes to jot down a few personal thoughts on comms planning - both from myself and a man I think our industry can learn a lot from: Bruce Lee.
For me, it's no secret that marketing today operates in the midst of an intense tide of social and technological change. An explosion in the number of brands vying for our attention, the fragmentation of communication channels and increasingly brand-wise consumers all add up to a world in which building brands is becoming harder and harder. The net result is that marketers have to act smarter and spend more cleverly for their brand to get the edge.
As such, I believe that comms planning within this environment mitigates against rigid structures and contained thinking and instead demands a free flow of ideas and information within a team that is itself primed for continual change.
Different challenges require different jobs - and now the key skill for agencies, clients and comms networks to develop is flexibility. As a wise man once said, "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail".
Someone who worked all this out ages ago was Bruce Lee. Whilst he wasn't much of an adman by trade, he did know a thing or two about the limitations of any one technique in tackling a problem. That's why the martial art that Bruce devised, Jeet Kune Do, was not a fixed or patterned system but a philosophy with guiding thoughts, stressing the need to mould yourself to each unique challenge.
As Bruce said...
The highest art is no art. The highest form is no form
Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it.
When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.
The highest technique is to have no technique. My technique is a result of your technique; my movement is a result of your movement.
A good JKD man does not oppose force or give way completely. He is pliable as a spring; he is the complement and not the opposition to his opponent’s strength. He has no technique; he makes his opponent's technique his technique. He has no design; he makes opportunity his design.
Stay flexible, my friends. Stay flexible.