Having played my ineffective, borderline disruptive role in getting the kids ready for school, I start my 18-minute walk to work. I always enjoy the ever-decreasing days I get to work out of the local Reigate office, particularly on a Monday.
I take a moment to respond to the emails I flagged over the weekend, before heading into my first meeting of the day, a catch up with Louisa from Halo PR to finalise the schedule for Cannes the following week. This will be my first trip to Cannes and any notion that it is going to be quite relaxed, flexible and a bit of a ‘workcation’ is very quickly eradicated.
Later this morning, I jump on a conference call with the senior management team of our South Africa office. We’ve just moved into swanky new offices, overlooking the sea in Umhlanga, Durban. It’s safe to say we have a highly motivated team there at the moment. We also plan the schedule for my trip in mid-July.
My afternoon includes a second meeting with a candidate for one of our senior consultant roles. This particular individual has always been client side and I try to convince him to come over to the dark side.
My strategy is to demonstrate that his talents are wasted helping just one brand. So far so good, initially we had his curiosity, I think it’s safe to say we now have his attention. Fingers crossed.
At 7:20am, I head off for my walk to the station, having avoided the morning routine this time. I’m in our London office in The Shard today, where the views never seem to get old.
First meeting of the day is to discuss acquiring a whole media buying team from a business where this function no longer strategically fits within their organisation.
Next up is an induction with 12 new starters. When I co-founded the business back in 2005, I pledged to have a personal induction session with every single person who joins our team. I haven’t missed one yet.
Funnily enough, most of our clients choose to come to our Shard office as opposed to any of our other locations. A couple of meetings take place there this afternoon, giving me the chance to catch up with clients.
The day ends with a visit to Claridge’s for the Thirty Club dinner. Guests include Karen Brady, Chris Eubank and Boris Becker, who gives a fantastic interview at the end. My invite is courtesy of Matt Brittin, president, EMEA Business & Operations, Google, who is the first new media representative to join the Thirty Club.
Planning is in full swing for our annual Digital Journeys event that’s taking place in The Shard this July. In the morning, I meet with the marketing team to drill down into the content for the day as well as some of the logistics. It’s all about AI this year, isn’t everything?
Next up is an induction to a group of Year 11 students from St Bede’s School who are doing work experience with us this week. I talk about the role that digital and tech play in everyday life. I hope they’re inspired.
More meetings follow, one of which is our quarterly finance meeting. Then it’s time to prepare for the annual RAR awards. The night ends well. We pick up three gongs: creative innovation, on budget, and online advertising. Result.
Today I’m in the Brighton office, catching up with the team, including our head of earned media Nick Fettiplace and MD, EMEA, Edward Ball.
We recently introduced a series of lunch and learns to enable staff to build their own personal brand and maximise their contribution to the industry. Today’s speaker is Donia Scott, professor of computational linguistics at the University of Sussex, talking about Artificial Learning. Some great food for thought for a Thursday lunchtime.
The afternoon includes a catch up with entrepreneur and Indian chef Hari Ghotra, whose online cookery portal is part of the Jellyfish Group. Hari announces that one of the UK’s leading supermarkets has agreed to test her curry kits in six of their stores. Great progress.
I shoot back to Reigate to see my daughter Ria perform in her school play ‘The Seven Sided Dice’. As you can imagine, through my daddy goggles, I thought her performance was outstanding. It was a very interesting production. Like watching the weirdest episode of Twin Peaks.
It’s time to get the taste buds going as we descend on Regent’s Park for our customary trip to Taste of London, where Google are playing host. It’s always a pleasure spending time with the Google team. Not only are they great fun but it also gives us time to discuss the media landscape, specific challenges and opportunities.
The night ends at Nobu, hanging out with Philip Lawrence, the producer and songwriter who is best known for collaborating with Bruno Mars and is also lovely, down-to-earth guy.
Favourite media: YouTube
My biggest inspiration: Nelson Mandela
Dream job: Golf Pro
Not a lot of people know this about me... I’m allergic to Hendrick’s Gin