ERICA BEVAN, 33
Media planning manager on Lever Brothers, Initiative Media
Caffeine consumed one tea, one coffee
Cigarettes smoked one
E-mails received about 45 (a light day)
Units of alcohol consumed during working hours 0 (I don’t drink on
Emotional moments Not my way, I tend to remain on an even keel
7am The day begins with a cup of tea and Chris Tarrant on Capital Radio.
Leave home. I live outside London and have a fairly easy journey, which
takes about an hour door to door. I take an overland train to Clapham
Junction and then change to get to Victoria. On the train I flick
through a Metro I pick up at the station.
9.30am Arrive in the office and grab a coffee before starting work on
the approvals. This is the official sign-off for the media to be bought
across Lever Brothers’ brands and it involves double checking all media
optioned in terms of second lengths, ratings and cost.
10.45am Hold an appraisal for a junior planner/buyer who has been with
us for three months. Fortunately, she passes with flying colours.
11.15am Continue to work on our strategy document for 2001. At the
moment we’re on phase two of our plans for next year. I am preparing for
a presentation to the client tomorrow in which we will demonstrate our
plans for three of the brands. This takes up a fair chunk of my time. I
take some time out from this to look at the phasing - the spend per
month, per medium and per brand (I report on this each month). It’s a
detailed job usually done over a couple of days.
12.30pm The post finally arrives and I flick through New Woman - just to
check on our ads, of course. But I’ll take it home to ’do further
1.15pm Grab a sandwich from the little Italian shop up the road. I eat
it at my desk. I hope I’m helping to break down the myth about
planner/buyers always going out to lunch - in my case it’s completely
2pm Telephone call from a Bournemouth University second-year student who
is booked in for some work experience in a couple of weeks. I’ve barely
put the phone down when a friend of hers calls and asks if there is any
more work. I refer her to personnel who tell her there isn’t.
2.05pm As part of the preparation for the next phase of the strategy
document, I take a look at the competitives on TV for Lever Brothers’
rivals. These show competitors’ media consumption by channel, day-part
3pm Phone call from a client to say he is about to brief the creative
agency on an innovative media idea we came up with. Unfortunately it is
being optioned to another Lever brand first, so I have to tell him to
hold fire. I then talk to various planner/ buyers about press
negotiations that are ongoing and put in a few calls to media companies
but nobody is there - maybe they’re all still out to lunch!
4.30pm Today’s e-mail influx was a light one but I’ve yet to read a
couple of them. Meanwhile, there is the presentation to check through
for tomorrow and messages to respond to.
6pm Pop down to the agency’s cafe/bar for a Coke. Monday is a
non-drinking day so I can rebuild my stamina for the rest of the week. I
return to my desk.
7.30pm Leave the office, remembering to grab my copy of the Evening
Standard to read during my train journey home.
PAUL HOUSE, 33
National sales manager, Amra
Caffeine consumed four coffees
Units of alcohol during working hours 0
Emotional moments one
E-mails received 26
4.30am Wake up to Radio 5 Live’s Andrew Neil. When I first started
working here, I was nicknamed Ernie - my colleagues joked that if I get
up this early I must do the milk round before work. Then they decided I
got up earlier than the milkman. I don’t have too much breakfast, just a
glass of hot water and a bowl of cereal - I’m in training for the New
York marathon next year so I’m trying to keep my diet in check.
5.20am Leave home. I live in Northamptonshire and it is a 20-minute walk
to the station. I travel on the Midland mainline into St Pancras which
takes about an hour. Then I have a 20-minute tube ride to the
7. 30am Arrive in the office. I’m almost always the first person in. Why
do I do it? I like to get a clear run at the day, at this hour I can
catch up on my e-mails and scan through the press. Today I read The
Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times website and answer my
8.15am The first cup of coffee of the day and I start work on a couple
of on-going projects. One includes a meeting with a client and its
agency tomorrow, which requires preparation. The second is a project
that is due to begin at the end of the summer. At this stage it is just
schedule planning and pulling together relevant information from other
10am Meeting with the creative team. A client has asked us to come up
with ideas for a project under proposal, so it’s an opportunity for a
bit of a brainstorm. We need to present the initial results next week
and get the client’s approval.
10.45am A chance to look over the budgets for next year and the figures
for the team.
12pm Go into a two-hour brainstorming meeting with an independent
consultant about a project under development. We want to integrate
press, TV and local radio for the project, which is scheduled for the
end of the year. Sandwiches are included!
2pm Phone call from a client who wants us to prepare a national brief
for a meeting on Monday. This means most of the afternoon is going to be
taken up doing this and preparing a presentation for tomorrow.
3.30pm Zenith rings to book a regional test for a national campaign,
which we then book with the publishing centres. It has only taken a
month for this campaign to be confirmed by the client and booked, which
is good when you consider a three-month lead time is quite normal.
5pm The Employee of the Quarter is announced in the boardroom. As soon
as this is over I leave the office for the journey back to
Northamptonshire, taking a proposal with me to work on during the
ANDY ASTON, 29
Senior planner/buyer on Mercedes and FT Marketwatch, BJK&E
Caffeine consumed seven cups of coffee
Units of alcohol during working hours 0
Emotional moments 0
6.45am Wake up to Chris Tarrant on Capital Radio. He annoys me so much
that he gets me out of bed.
7.15am Leave home. I live in Wimbledon so travel I to work on the
Northern Line reading Metro. Today it took about 40 minutes, although it
isn’t always reliable.
8am Arrive in the office. I was out of the office yesterday, so I was
greeted by 32 e-mails and about 17 telephone messages. I work through
the e-mails, fortunately spotting a client request to put together a
strategic proposal for tomorrow morning.
9am Half an hour of preparation for an FT MarketWatch meeting at 9.30am.
We discuss media proposals post-launch. This involves evaluating which
media placement worked and discussing the research findings,
second-stage budgets and objectives.
11am Come out of the meeting to more messages. Pick up calls from a
company selling ads on the Oxford to London coach, several copy
enquiries from magazines and one from a company that wants to use a
Mercedes in its ad. This involves another call to the client about
sourcing a car. I then return more calls to media owners - we are
optioning space for a corporate campaign. I cancel my lunch with
Newslink because I’ve too much to do.
12pm Get to work on the presentation for tomorrow morning. After half an
hour I have to meet a media sales person from a corporate fleet group of
titles to discuss a forthcoming campaign we are booking.
1pm Nip out for a sandwich and a can of Coke from the cafe across the
road. I eat at my desk while working on the presentation. Meanwhile,
take calls from The Daily Telegraph, Elle, Motorsport and a client.
2.30pm An internal meeting about the company awayday later this month.
We’ve all been put into teams to work on improving different aspects of
the business. Ours is new business.
3pm Leave the meeting to meet Nick from TalkSport to discuss a Mercedes
vans campaign. Then back to my desk to check e-mails. Fortunately, there
is just an invite to a stag weekend.
4.30pm Write a letter to C Class awards finalists to say what they
should put in their presentations. Another influx of e-mails, including
my regular news updates from ft.com. Then a phone call from a client who
wants information on share publications, which I then find and ring back
5pm Chat with our team planner Katie about a Mercedes trucks campaign.
She runs through a presentation.
7.30pm Finish the presentation for tomorrow. Leave the office and retire
to The Coach and Horses.
FIONA HOSKING, 39[QQ]]
Client and strategic sales manager, Channel 4
Caffeine consumed six cups of tea
Cigarettes smoked 0 (none for 360 days, six hours)
Units of alcohol consumed during working hours 0
Emotional moments three - one high, two low
E-mails received 27
7.15am Wake up to the Today programme on Radio 4. I think about going to
the gym but decide my wind-up radio provides enough exercise for the day
(who needs a personal trainer?). Tune in to Chris Evans in the bathroom
and then catch some Big Breakfast before I leave.
8.45am Leave home. I drive in from Battersea which takes about 20
minutes. Usually I flick between Radio 4 and Virgin during the journey
and keep an eye out for our posters - the current Channel 4 campaign for
Big Brother is particularly arresting.
9.45am After a cup of tea I go straight to a meeting with the research
department to talk about future projects. These include ongoing research
into the dotcom and fragrance markets and E4, our new entertainment
channel, which will launch in January.
10.45am My scheduled agency meeting has been cancelled so I make
preparations for a client visit to the Hollyoaks set at Mersey TV.
11.45am Finish writing a client presentation. This includes a quick
rehearsal in a vacant office, which prompts some bemused looks from my
colleagues as they peer through the Venetian blinds. Then I continue our
preparations for the Marketing Forum conference on the Aurora in
September. Make a phone call to Chris Locke at MediaVest, who advises me
I could lose two stone of ugly fat by cutting off my head, giving me all
the confidence I need for my Media Business photocall this
1pm Sandwich on the run en route to the Harvey Nichols sale, but the
only thing that fits is the cubical curtain. The cab driver gives me a
copy of the Daily Mail ,where I read about - and totally relate to - Tim
Henman’s temper tantrum at Wimbledon.
2.20pm Meeting with colleagues about reallocation of office space -
trying to fit in more people is proving a logistical nightmare.
3pm Photo session with the lovely photographer from Media Business, who
lulls me into a false sense of security but refuses to let me wear my
pashmina as a yashmak. Returning to normality, I have a panic about a
day-long client event that is coming up soon. I brief my colleagues in
trade marketing to come up with some enticing invites.
4.15pm Meeting with new-business manager in sponsorship. We are looking
for sponsors for T4 and drama, among other things. Return to desk to
find a message from my financial adviser reminding me to make a will,
and then pick up an e-mail about giving blood. Is someone trying to tell
5pm Remainder of afternoon spent making appointments with clients and
6.20pm Leave the office. In the car I talk to my boss, who is currently
on jury service, and then tune in to The Archers, completing the
transition from one funny farm to another.