A view from the bottom
A view from Joshua Robertson

A view from the bottom

It's been another manic week for the Havas Media business development team. So much so that, if you opened my head and looked inside, I'm pretty sure that you'd see something like the scribbling of a three-year-old child armed with an array of colourful pens and finger paints.

2013 has already been eventful for us. We’ve taken a new name, new identity, new lick of red paint throughout our building and the team has moved desks. This now means I have a view of both the Gherkin and London Eye. Not many can say that.

It also means that the new-business team has become the business development team. It’s still quite a new department in most agencies, but definitely one that is thriving.

At the beginning of the year, our team was joined by Debra Isaacson as the managing partner, marketing, which has also had a noticeable effect on both the team and my own development. Within the first month of the year, we were invited to pitch on no less than 14 opportunities. A great start and, hopefully, a sign of things to come.

Business development has been tough for many agencies of late. There is obviously prior thought and method, rather than just a knee-jerk reaction, but when the industry is made up of more than 11,000 businesses, the elbows come out. In addition, every agency is now "fully integrated", allowing them to have a pop at almost any brief. It’s no wonder clients do everything they can to avoid a review.

The most exciting part of the job is when we actually get a pitch in. Then it is all hands on deck as everyone needs to pull together. It astounds me that people can offer so much energy on top of their day-to-day jobs. It really brings the whole agency together.

My main role in this is pitch co-ordination – ensuring everything runs smoothly, from meetings to run-throughs to providing work on time.

I am also the first point of call for the client and it is my task to find out exactly what is needed from our side to ensure we do the best job possible.

First thing Monday morning we kick the week off with a chemistry meeting. This brand sits on our wish list of companies to partner, so this was a big one for us.

Just to show how diverse this job can be, my services were required for a voiceover. I completed my four sentences in a record 45 minutes!

Tuesday is then spent preparing for a pitch taking place on Wednesday. Some of the team is abroad for a third pitch. I’m not saying that three pitches a week is average, but it’s definitely the pace at which 2013 has started.

Thursday clears up so that I can get through my to-do list. I’m at Microsoft most of tomorrow as we discuss a new chapter of advertising.

Hopefully, a weekend of Xander Rawlins and the rugby at Twickenham will calm down the little Michelangelo in my head long enough so I can get a few hours of sleep before it’s back into th maelstrom on Monday.

Joshua Robertson is a business development manager at Havas Media