98% Pure Potato: The Origins of Advertising Account Planning

By John Griffiths and Tracey Follows

The story of how account planning began, told by its pioneers

Wednesday, 26 November 2014



24 hours after we started the crowd fundings a big thankyou to everybody who has jumped in to support Tracey and I feet first! We chose the last APG Noisy Thinking of the year to jump start the crowdfunding. The topic was What makes ideas influential? and Tracey was first on to talk about that to a sell-out audience at Google UK's offices.  At the end we showed the film that you will have seen by now on the website.

What we also said was by way of filling people in about what is available.  The first thing is that the book is based on interviews with over 20 people - all recorded on audio. And much of what they said captured on video.  Video is time consuming to edit and present so we will probably put voxpop clips together on particular topics as time goes on. Audio is a doddle to edit down. So we are going to post one podcast a week featuring an interviewee until we have releaseed all of the interviews in the order in which we conducted them. The first is for Paul Feldwick - who shared some real wisdom with us about how planners work to bring about change inside client organisations. Unbound will be posting the podcast here in the shed.  Because you've preordered the book, you will get to hear the audio recording before the book comes out. NOBODY ELSE DOES. This blog post is visible to everybody. The podcasts will only be visible to supporters. So we will tip you off everytime another interivew goes up. Whether or not you have time to listen to all of them I think you'll agree that we are making available a unique resource. 

I have been toiling away at a blog for much of this year called Postcards from a planner.  As a specific resource for account planners.  From the middle of October I have covered one hero a day. You may want to start at the beginning of last week when I focussed on the founding fathers Stanley Pollitt and Stephen King though I have thrown in two godfathers and a couple of rivals who said they started planning (but I don't think they really did). Starting this week I am featuring one interviewee a day as a blog post. So by Christmas you will know all of them.  Why do an open blog like this? 

Well because if you look at the Planning Hall of Fame on Plannersphere it features hardly any of them. These people were among the first ever planners and they deserve to be better known. We are hoping you will work with us to get the word out. Encouraging others to come and preorder their book on the Unbound website. But if you want explain more about the concept to them so they get a taster of these people then use the Postcards blog to do that. But please be clear that the podcasts of them in conversation are for the benefit of those who have preordered. They won't have access to these until they order too! 

What we are hoping 98% Pure Potato does is to show the planning community that we have a living tradition. Our interviewees are really interested in how the publishing project develops.  We get emails reminding us of things which may not have been written down before. When we get these we will share them with you. This is a living project - its quite unlike any other planning book ever written before.  And we have to remind planners how useful a book about planning can be. The last proper planning book was Stephen King's papers in 2007 and before that Truth Lies and Advertising in 1998. so for most planners this is the first planning book they have ever had the chance to buy.

And you are already going to getyour name printed in the back of it! So you obvious get it. Thanks for being involved.

We'll keep you posted. 



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