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My Media Week: Steve Atkinson

This week, Steve Atkinson, commercial director, Outdoor Plus, is in buoyant mood as the festive season kicks off with PHD's Christmas bash and Paul Frampton's pre-nuptial celebrations.

Steve Atkinson: commercial director of Outdoor Plus

Steve Atkinson: commercial director of Outdoor Plus

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Monday morning and I'm awake as usual at 6am, courtesy of the efficient alarm clock that is my two-year-old son, Charlie. Sky Sports News, via Sky Go on the iPad, is always my first media consumption of the day, as I shower and shave, followed by checking in with the Sun+ app to further feed my sports addiction on my (45-minute) commute to the office.

Chelsea came from behind to beat a very strong Southampton team yesterday so I'm in a buoyant mood as I take in the analysis and match reports. I'm soon moving on to the early predictions of what we should expect during the coming second Ashes Test ,which is due to start in Adelaide on Wednesday night. More serious news and current affairs are absorbed during this journey via the BBC News and Sky News apps.

My first meeting of the week is at our offices on Baker Street. Jonathan Lewis, founder and MD of Outdoor Plus and I host Kinetic's Mark Adams and Nick Parker to discuss 2014 and the opportunities before us. It's a very upbeat meeting as we are continuing to develop our estate and becoming a significant player in DOOH in London, and we all agree 2014 looks likely to be a big year for the OOH medium.

Next is lunch with Arena's chief executive, Pedro Avery, at The Ivy Club. These are dynamic, changing times for our industry and Pedro always has an interesting and astute view to share. There's much to discuss about how we can work together in the coming year, particularly to meet the challenge all media face in working more flexibly to meet client needs.


I get a bit of time to catch up with social media before the rounds of meetings start. I'm an avid Facebook fan as I find it to be the most social of social media, while Twitter is increasingly useful for keeping up with developments and views in the media industry. Paul Frampton, Havas Media's CEO and Arif Durrani of Haymarket are the most frequent tweeters on my feed along with Media Guardian. I also follow a good number of more light-hearted tweeters ranging from Will Ferrell to Stephen Fry and Frankie Boyle – it's always good to be reminded not to take it all too seriously.

Tuesday evening starts with drinks at the Fitzroy Tavern on Charlotte Street with Talon's Nick Mawditt, where we discuss some promising initiatives, before I move on to my first Christmas "do" of the season at PHD's Telephone Exchange off the Tottenham Court Road. It's a lively and well attended evening – particularly by the OOH fraternity.

I spend a pleasant couple of hours catching up with ESI's Jon O’Donnell and PHD's own Daren Rubins, David Wilding and Frances Ralston-Good, among others, before heading home at a surprisingly sensible hour.


Last night's early(ish) finish means that today's 6am wake-up call is not too painful. However, previews of tonight’s second Ashes Test and Chelsea's away trip to Sunderland leave me surprisingly apprehensive. Surely England have to improve on their first test showing and three points at the Stadium of Light is a given…isn't it?

Lunch today is with Posterscope's Rob Rosenthal at Pescatori on Charlotte Street. Everything from business to football (he's a Tottenham fan so a lively chat) to horse racing and on to some fun people-watching makes for a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable couple of hours.

Any office time I can grab this week is given to business planning for 2014 and I make the most of the three hours I have before heading off to Paul Frampton's pre-wedding drinks at the Lobby Bar at The London Edition on Berners Street. A good turnout including Alan Brydon, Kelly Parker, John McLoughlin and Segun Ogunsheye. In the cab on the way home, I discover that Chelsea have won 4-3 at Sunderland. Good win, but three goals conceded at Sunderland? Really?!


Charlie wakes me up at 6am. I check the cricket score. No comment.

A morning in the office is used to catch up on a variety of desk-based jobs, the more enjoyable of which is taking in this week's Campaign. I seek out Arif Durrani’s column first for what is always a good read on the news and trends in the media business, but this week’s issue is 'The Annual 2013'. There are some thoroughly deserved wins and notable surprises, but a very entertaining read nonetheless.

The afternoon is spent with some of the Rapport team – James Rodham, Bob Stephens and Kelly Woodward. There is a consistent theme emerging that suggests increased optimism for 2014. The belief is that it is a real year of opportunity for brands that are willing to be brave and try new things, using new data and digital opportunities across a range of media, including out-of-home, naturally.

I then spend the early part of my evening with Steve Hatch, currently serving his notice as MEC CEO before joining Facebook as UK and Ireland regional director. He's as bright, brilliant and creative an individual as there is in the media industry and I'm particularly keen to pick his brains on how DOOH can work in collaboration with pure-play digital businesses in the future.


I wake bright and early. The cricket score dims the brightness a tad.

It's a very productive day, mostly in the office and a highlight is an exchange of emails and phone calls with our recently appointed PR agency, Pumpkin, covering further detail on our soon-to-be-announced new head of marketing and our dramatic digital development plans.

In the afternoon I meet with Talon's Frank Bryant. Frank has a wonderful blend of calm and passion when he talks about business and there aren’t many people who put things into perspective better than him. I return to the office feeling that all is good in the world.

There's a generally positive air about business as we approach the end of the year, which makes writing a new and improved bonus scheme for the sales team a lot easier and much more fun. Here's to a very happy and prosperous 2014 for all!

Age: Of consent
Favourite media: DOOH
My biggest inspiration: My sons Tom and Charlie
Dream job: Screenplay writer
Not a lot of people know this about me... I'm really good at keeping secrets

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