Planning Director (Account Director)

Last updated: June 2022

The Role:

Shape History is looking for candidates who have at least 5 years of account and/or project management experience, some of which has been at an agency, to be our new Planning Director. 

Are you looking for a new challenge that gives you the chance to get creative and use your expertise to evolve a team who are passionate about social impact causes? Are you a natural leader who loves working with people to nurture their personal evolution?  Are you proactive, love problem solving and are incredibly organised? If so, this full-time London based role will be perfect for you. 

We’re Shape History, the social impact communications agency. We work with our partners –  charities, businesses, UN bodies, academic institutions, philanthropic organisations –  on some of the biggest issues facing humanity today, from Climate Change to Gender Equality, Digital Health, to Human Rights. We harness the power of communication to inspire inventive thinking and propel social impact leaders and changemakers to create a fairer world faster.  

We’re a full service agency, doing everything from running social media campaigns, placing stories in the news, creating beautiful, emotive content, and developing large scale strategies for how organisations can talk to and influence their target audiences. An understanding of our services as an agency, how to work collaboratively, identify issues and implement new processes are all part of this role. The successful candidate will join our Planning team and act as a mentor to 4 talented individuals.  By having a good understanding of capacity amongst the Planning team, you will also join our operations team, which involves weekly updates and forward planning across each team. 

How you’ll be shaping history everyday:

  • Account management: To get to understand our workings of the agency, you will be the lead point of contact for 1-2 significant projects, ensuring the timely and successful delivery of high quality assets and expertise according to our partners’ (we call clients, partners) needs and objectives. This will involve building, maintaining and evolving strong, long-lasting partnerships, and where necessary, facilitate consultation workshops. 
  • Managing budgets: Using our financial software platform Xero, you will be responsible for submitting all bills relating to your projects and you may be responsible for checking over bills entered by the Planning team. To do this, you will gain an understanding of our chart of accounts, and the differences between each account. If budgets need negotiating with our contractors or partners, it will be your responsibility to either guide the Planning team to take these conversations on, or you will lead them yourselves. Lastly, you will be responsible for ensuring that all budget sheets across the team are updated by Planners on a regular basis. 
  • Project management: As our Planning Director, although you may not know the full nuances of each project, you will have a good understanding of what stages each project is in, and sometimes ask the difficult questions as to why deadlines have been missed or why projects have been delayed. This means you will likely join kick off meetings to gain a sense of who the partner we’re working with is, understanding their wants and needs of each project. You will have oversight over our CRM,, and ensure this is kept up to date (there will be an opportunity to train you up in this if you are new to it). 
  • Looking ahead: You will think ahead on all projects that you’re overseeing, ensuring that the full Planning team is doing the same and pre-empt anything that may not go according to plan, proactively coming up with solutions. 
  • Operations: Sitting in the Ops team, you will understand the ins and outs of our Planning team, identify gaps and work with the full team to evolve these processes. It will be your responsibility to roll these out to the full Shape History team. In doing so, you will form a good relationship with the Strategy and Creative teams to understand their internal department processes. You will work with each Planner to update their time sheets on a weekly basis, and flag when there may be a gap in capacity.
  • Mentoring: You will have weekly mentoring sessions with each of the Planning team, gaining a sense of how they’re doing at work, guiding them to be the best version of themselves. This will involve developing SMART goals twice per year, as well as offering guidance and suggestions for anything they may need support with.  You will be involved with the recruitment for the Planning team as well as inducting new team members. 
  • Processes: By understanding the ins and outs of our Planning team, you will identify gaps and work with the full team to evolve these processes. It will be your responsibility to roll these out to the full Shape History team. In doing so, you will form a good relationship with the Strategy and Creative teams to understand their internal department processes.

You’re good at:

  • Agency experience: You have at least 5+ years of account management experience,  ideally having worked at an agency and can manage working on multiple projects at once.
  • Reactive and proactive media mindset: Experience in the agility and shifting requirements of working on multiple projects.
  • Collaboration: Working collaboratively in a team, as well as independently, and willing to roll up your sleeves during short intensive sprints. You have experience or mentoring or managing people.
  • Open-minded: Willing to step outside your comfort zone, and work on a variety of new and different outputs to evolve your skill sets. Thinking outside of the box is one of our values and pushing internal team members beyond their comfort zones is important. 
  • Commercial mindset: You have worked in the sector and you are interested in how businesses operate, therefore recognise the importance of certain processes that need to be put in place and also need to evolve over time. 
  • Stress Management and Adaptability: You feel comfortable adapting your planned course of action when unexpected issues arise, and are able to effectively manage and surpass stressful situations. This involves managing a complex and reactive workload. 
  • Clarity and simplification: You present and organise information in a clear, engaging way that resonates and  creates clarity and alignment. 
  • Enthusiasm for project management: You bring a certain level of enthusiasm to the team, building morale and acting as a team leader when needed.
  • Proactivity: Taking ownership and autonomy over your work, solving problems that others may not have noticed, and going out of your way to continue learning and growing.
  • Time management: Effectively planning and organising how to divide your time between specific projects and activities, balancing the art of flexibility with realism.
  • Organisation: You know how to handle budgets and timelines and are more than familiar with organising both projects and people.

Extra bit of awesome:

  • Knowledge and background in the social impact/charity/political sector, whether that be volunteering or working with charities, campaigns, NGOs, funders, or institutions.


  • Base salary of £40,000-£50,000 per year plus discretionary personal & company bonus

Closing date:

  • Applications will close on Sunday 3rd July at 6pm BST
  • A short task will be given to candidates to be completed between Monday 4th-Thursday 7th July
  • A select few candidates will be invited to join interviews on Wednesday 13th July

Application process:

As part of our process, we use blind recruitment in our first round of applications. This is part of a wider race equity strategy at Shape History. When applying for this role, you will be taken to a Typeform link where you’ll be asked a series of questions. The next round of the process will include interviewing a select few candidates.

Race Equity:

We are committed to having an inclusive culture in which everyone feels safe and supported to achieve their potential. There is a long way to go in implementing race equity in the sector and we have a robust strategy in place for delivering this at Shape History. We actively encourage applications from underrepresented and minority groups, including those with lived experience of social issues we are working to address. 

Some Benefits

  • Competitive remuneration: Working in social impact shouldn’t mean sacrificing financial remuneration, so our combination of competitive industry salaries & end of year bonuses ensures you feel valued in every way.
  • Culture: Our main priority is our team and the culture that runs throughout the agency. We put emphasis on working with team members to unfold their individual and unique potential.
  • History Shaper Programme: We offer grants to team members to build passion projects with no restrictions. We also run our own internal campaigns with ideas coming from the team.
  • Holiday and Enhanced Parental Leave:  Each team member is entitled to 24 days of holiday plus a Christmas shutdown period and bank holidays. We also have an enhanced parental leave policy.
  • Flexi-time working: We understand that people work best at different times in the day, and either at home or in the office so we’re super flexible! All we ask is that you’re in the office 2 times a week. 
  • Fruit and Prosecco : We think that the team has a vitamin C deficiency because the amount of fruit they devour during Monday huddles is ridiculous. Enjoy that, as well as prosecco (or beer!)Thursdays!
  • Team days: 4x per year, the full team comes together to take part in workshops, activities and socials. Previous team days have included axe throwing (not at each other), graffiti spraying and laser tag.
  • Cycle to Work: Because bikes are good for your body and for our planet!