My Media Week: Chris Broadbent, MediaCom North

Chris Broadbent, chief operating officer of MediaCom North, has spent his week on numerous train journeys, checking out the company's new offices, putting "people first" and relaxing in "God's own country".

Chris Broadbent: the chief operating officer of MediaCom North
Chris Broadbent: the chief operating officer of MediaCom North


After the weekend in beautiful North Yorkshire, I start My Media Week on the 7.10am TransPennine Express train from Thirsk to Manchester. As I oversee our three northern offices, I spend a lot of time travelling to different locations and this week will be no different.

I use my journey to plan my week and capture a few pictorial Tweets of Yorkshire’s picturesque landscape before the deluge of work begins (take a look on Twitter @broady964).

I spend the morning with Paul Cooper, managing director of MediaCom Manchester, and Katy Leeson, head of new business, in our Spinningfields office. It’s a great place and I always enjoy sitting out on the fourth floor deck with a coffee if it’s not throwing it down (it is Manchester).

Due to the continued growth of MediaCom North, we are always expanding our team. This week we have new starters so I grab some time with them to welcome them to the team.

Our business mantra is "People first" and six months into the job, I want to be the approachable leader, so talking with everyone across our three northern offices is important. That’s 250 people to get round.

My afternoon is spent in a meeting with Channel 4 as we are developing some innovative partnership work with them following their Manchester 4 Vision event with Jonathan Allan and David Abraham, so we have a run through ahead of meeting the clients.


Surprisingly, when I wake up in Manchester there is no rain, just sunshine. I make use of this rare occurrence and walk the two miles to the office from my MediaCityUK apartment.

We are running an apprenticeship selection day and have 30 great young people from around the UK in the office. It’s a fun morning, seeing the potential and creativity of these people and selecting them for a mixture of roles for the Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham offices.

This afternoon I have a client meeting to discuss partnership activity with Global Radio. I know that this will be really effective for our client so I’m looking forward to seeing how things will unfold in the coming months.

I catch the tram back to MediaCityUK and grab a quick bite to eat with my son. He is a second year student at the University of Salford, but seems to be turning the apartment into a nightclub/radio studio. Maybe I’m just jealous as I’m no millennial.


Another day, another early train journey, this time to Birmingham to meet Paul Bramwell, managing director of our Midlands base, MediaCom Birmingham. We have a new office opening planned for October so I head to the new site in the rapidly changing city centre.

We review office layouts and designs with the agents and designers. This will be another fantastic office for us, putting the business where the action is among the vibrant shops and cafés of the new central district.

The move is really important for our diverse team there. Following a board meeting we are hosting a talk and drinks with the NABS Head of regions, Kate Harris.

We do quite a lot of work with NABS as their aim is to enrich the lives of people working in the media and advertising, which marries perfectly with our ‘People first’ motto. Kate is speaking to all 25 members of staff in Birmingham about the working parents initiative between MediaCom and NABS.

The aim is to support working parents while improving overall employee wellbeing and organisational performance.


Back in North Yorkshire, I catch the early train to London Euston for a fun day out. I walk down to MediaCom UK headquarters in Theobalds Road. The first session is with Pressurepoint, a people development agency that "makes businesspeople better".

This morning, Pressurepoint managing director Adrian Green is delivering a leadership coaching session to help us build a more accountable team and maximise the potential of our talent. After that it’s an hour with my new colleague Elaine Bremner, MediaCom’s director of people.

Elaine is leading Talent and HR, having moved back to the UK from MediaCom in Singapore. We discuss everything that makes up our "20 ways to put People first" initiatives for the regions.

After a very productive day, I’ve got plenty of information to write up on the train so my journey back up to Yorkshire passes surprisingly quickly, aided by a beer.


After a week of travelling and meetings, the first point of call today is Andy, my personal trainer, in Ripon (stop laughing). I feel refreshed, albeit a little bit sore, after my hour-long workout but ready to face the day.

I’m back in my spiritual home at our Leeds office and catch up with the managing director of this office, Simon Price. It’s all happening here today and there's a real buzz around the office – a staff skydive is being planned for September.

The MediaCommunity team are raising £5,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research, who we proudly support. Last year we raised over £4,000 for Yorkshire Air Ambulance through various activities including cake sales, competitions and raffles.

The team here are really enthusiastic and committed to coming up with new ways to support local charities and I’m really proud of their achievements.

I’ve got a working lunch planned with Northern Rail, a new client that we have just welcomed to our constantly expanding portfolio. We grab a bite to eat while discussing the plan for 2017 – I feel I can contribute some "method planning" with my travel schedule. I’m looking forward to kick-starting our campaign with them as I know there is a real opportunity.

Before I know it, another busy working week is over and it’s time to drive north. My thoughts turn to the weekend ahead, which I will be spending in God’s own country, filled with family, fresh air, the Dales and beautiful countryside. It’s not Cannes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m planning a nice, leisurely weekend, as it will be Monday again before you can say "talent".

The lowdown

Age: 53
Favourite media: Twitter
Biggest inspiration: People half my age
Dream job: Photographer and restaurant critic for the Yorkshire Post
One thing not a lot of people know about me: I have not missed an episode of The Archers since I married my wife Kay 28 years ago

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.


Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 How Sainsbury's ads revolutionised the UK's food culture

Abbott Mead Vickers' press ads for Sainsbury's in the 1980s formed the most influential and culturally significant campaign the UK has ever produced, argues Paul Burke.

Just published