My Media Week: Matt James
This week Matt James, managing director of Starcom, travels in from Bath, attends the Media Week Awards and gets back in time to see his son compete at cross country.
Matt James: managing director of Starcom
Like most of the media fraternity, my trusty Blackberry is set for a 5am wake up, but today I'm woken by one of my dogs, a lump of a brown Labrador called Pinot who decides that 4.15am would be a respectable time to be let out in the garden.
No need to divulge why. So, it's an earlier than anticipated start to the week, but one I'm used to with three children and two dogs.
The 6.43am train from Bath (I've been living in Somerset for five years now and stay in London during the week) gives me the space to read the Telegraph via iPad (thank you Telegraph for the subscription), read any Sunday overnight emails and assess the week ahead.
Black Tie sits above my seat poised for the Media Week Awards this Thursday.
By 8.45am I'm at my desk and stuck into a number of key new business requests that have come over from US brothers and sisters. It's been an intense couple of weeks on the new business front and this week looks set to be the same.
An important meet with my two managing partners, Amice Lock and Hal Pearson. We're at an exciting juncture of Starcom's development both strategically and structurally, so we meet every Monday to lay out the week ahead and ensure that we're on track.
The day finishes with a productive session with my CEO, Stewart Easterbrook to discuss some key next steps on budget and strategy. I return back to my desk to get our agreed actions in motion.
A respectable 6.45pm finish for a Monday.
Start the day with an early morning "Facetime" with my daughter, then straight into a client call to discuss the future of F-commerce, in particular Facebook Credits – how this could impact their business in 2012 and how could we gain a first mover advantage.
The morning finishes with another conference call, this time internally, to discuss European agency hub structures and operations for a major client – it's been an eclectic mix of topics this morning and I now have some ear-to-phone relief by meeting ITV's Simon Armstrong and Mark Trinder for lunch at Gaucho.
After convincing Simon that sharing a selection of the steak specials would be a great option (he clearly has "only child" syndrome and is uncomfortable with this principle – for the record he is not an only child!) we venture into partnership discussions and the future of ITV.
It will be an interesting 2012 for ITV. My day finishes with an internal digital meeting of minds and about what constitutes the best and brightest future recruit.
Today is an off-site all day client strategy meeting for 2012 planning. Fascinating round of discussions, especially when all agency disciplines are involved.
The role of social and the migration of investment from above the line dominate the agenda, particularly for the brands and sectors in question. A long but fruitful day and now we have an exciting task ahead of us and a tasty nut to crack.
The day finishes with a civilised glass of wine and canapés.
Breakfast interview this morning for our planning team. I have a few grumbles regarding the new generation of planners and their ability to plan with depth and breadth – this was my main route of interrogation and they battled well.
No lunch today – it's heads down straight through as we work on a new business brief. Six o'clock soon arrives and it's time to slip into the evening black gown.
Arrive at the Media Week Awards as their guest. It was great to be a judge again this year. The entries were excellent and plentiful. As always at these awards you forget how many faces and personalities you have worked with over the past twenty years.
Many a reminiscing moment to be had this evening, including running into an ex-FD who I worked with in Paris for many years – a pleasant surprise. This is a man who had clearly blagged his way into the awards.
Starcom bag a number of silvers this year...better luck for 2012. Well done to all the winners.
Spend most of today nursing a headache (self-inflicted) and hopping in and out of internal meetings. I have a couple of fruitful hours at my desk to return a number of client emails and get my ducks in a row for a very busy next week.
My nine-year-old son is running in the county cross-country late afternoon so I take the rare opportunity to return to Somerset early for the weekend so I can see him compete.
He comes second, beaten by a boy in the year above – a proud finish to the week.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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