My Media Week: Alastair Bannerman, managing director, Starcom
A peek at the media diary of Alastair Bannerman, managing director of Starcom
Alastair Bannerman, managing director, Starcom
Arrive at work at 7.45am, having read the Guardian's iPhone app and the business and finance sections of the Sunday Times on my journey to work. Then it's straight into the 9am Starcom Mediavest Group weekly management meeting with Mediavest's managing director Steve Parker, strategy officer Richard Hartell, HR director Liz Nottingham, trading director Chris Locke and finance director Kieran Parsley. Our chief executive Stewart Easterbrook usually chairs the meeting, but he is away in the States for a global management meeting. We spend a couple of hours on people, as we are planning to redesign our internal teams, and those people who will no longer work on the COI account from April are very much part of those plans. We also share the feedback we received from clients, including Jon Goldstone at Hovis and Simon Lilley at Flybe, following our inclusion in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For list. In the afternoon, I gather Dominic Woolfe, Simon Stanforth and Rufus Chuter together to get them thinking ahead of a big client meeting on Friday - we have the opportunity to broaden the scope of an existing client into a more strategic direction.
Straight to Honda's offices in Slough for a meeting with Ian Armstrong, manager for customer communications, to discuss how we will make the transition from local to global, following the expansion of our business brief to 21 markets. Get back to the office just in time to sit in on a meeting led by planning director Amice Lock, who holds a monthly forum for all the planning account managers. Next, Stewart Easterbrook, Steve Parker and I have our quarterly meeting with Mark Howe and Philip Miles from Google, where we discuss holding a client workshop for different marketing categories, such as FMCG. I also bump into David Meliveo, marketing director of our new client Autoglass, in the Starcom café. Dave is in to see our proposal for a major partnership that would connect Autoglass with local communities, based on sport.
The message blackboard outside my office has been wiped down for a St Patrick's Day message, but I have no time for a pint of the black stuff. Instead, I meet Liz Nottingham and Steve Parker to discuss candidates for our 2010 Academy - our talent training programme where we send people to far-flung places to learn leadership and communication skills. We have run the scheme for the past two years and we get great feedback - people have walked into my office to say it changed their life. The location is top-secret until the candidates arrive at the airport, but we are hoping to run more than one academy this year, grouped by peer group, with the first in May. I also call our client from Flybe to update him about the software we have just installed to improve our search engine optimisation, and spend a couple of hours proofing and editing Starcom's monthly client bulletin, which is this month on gaming.
Find out we have been shortlisted in two categories of the Clear Channel Outdoor Planning Awards - for our campaigns for Becks and Pizza Hut - so I congratulate the teams. I am then hunted down by Starcom's head of mobile James Tagg, who is keen to show me the results for a campaign for Emirates around the World Cup. The response rate was genuinely staggering and mobile was by far the most effective element of the campaign. Between meetings I spend time scratching out the new team structures, based on Monday's board meeting and the previous week's trip to Telegraph Media Group, where sales director Nick Hewat invited me to sit in on an editorial meeting led by Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher. End up working late preparing for the following day's client meeting, so sadly I miss that evening's NABS Big Bash.
The two-hour client presentation goes very well - the team are very impressive and the proposition really moves the game on. At lunch I meet a client for a belated St Patrick's Day pint, before a debrief from my boss Stewart Easterbrook, who fills me in on the outcome of his meetings with Laura Desmond, global chief executive of SMG. We are pleased Starcom's Space for Ideas initiative, which went public in the UK last April, is now being rolled out globally.
My hip is still niggling from a running injury earlier this year, so I forgo my morning exercise with my running partner Matt Lloyd, business director at Mediavest - his fitness is also waning as a result. The rest of the weekend is spent watching Northampton Town FC play at home (I am patron of the club so I rarely miss a game), going for a long walk along the river from my home in Chiswick, and watching back-to-back episodes of Mad Men.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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