Bank Holiday Monday
Spend most of the morning sheltering from showers of hailstones in the garden shed - being at work seems a good alternative. In the evening, I watch a blu-ray version of Avatar. Seeing the titles reminds me Ingenious Media is the main funding arm, and I smile at the thought of my fellow industry measurer David Mansfield, the chairman of Rajar and board director of Ingenious, making even more money.
We are in the middle of new business presentations from the research companies we have briefed to pitch for our Fusion Project, which we will test in 2010 before rolling out in 2011. We are attempting to find a supplier of very reliable, professional and transparent digital data and then find an organisation that can fuse the digital data with our own print data, allowing us to provide a picture of communication, rather than just readership. I speak to the NRS board members about providing them with technical "buddies" for the first round of presentations at The Hospital Club on Thursday. The technical buddies are Lynne Robinson from the IPA, Teresa Brookes from the Newspaper Publishers Association and Guy Consterdine from the PPA.
I spend the day making sure all our stakeholders - the PPA, the NPA and the IPA - as well as ISBA and our presenters UKOM/Nielsen and ComScore understand the logistics of the following day's presentations. I also have many conversations with our PR agency Eulogy about how we will approach the PR issues aligned with the Fusion Project - Vicky Beaney and Ian McCawley are given the challenge. Finish the day with an internal meeting preparing for the questions we are likely to be asked at the MediaTel seminar on media research on Friday.
Arrive at the viewing theatre at The Hospital Club for the first round of presentations. In attendance are our board members Claire Myerscough from News International, Jackie Newcombe from IPC Southbank, Steve Goodman from GroupM and Bob Wootton from ISBA, as well as their technical "buddies" and our chairman Simon Marquis. We see two excellent presentations from ComScore and UKOM/Nielsen on the data-gathering side of the challenge. Thanks to the lack of volcanic ash their North American colleagues Pat Pellegrini from ComScore and Pete Doe from Nielsen are able to join us - the initial presentation fell during the no-flight time so they had to be Skyped into the meeting room. Later, I stay up until 1am watching the election results unfold. My seat, Bromley, is one of the safest Conservative seats in the country - the Tory candidate would have to be Attila the Hun not to be elected.
Start the day with a nice walk along Westminster, where the political camera crews are setting up for the day, to the MediaTel seminar on the Future of Media Research. As always, the conference is really well organised by Derek Jones and his team and convened by the BBC's media correspondent Torin Douglas. The panel, which includes Laura Chaibi from Yahoo and Stuart McDonald from News International, is well-balanced and knows its stuff, and we answer all the questions regarding the NRS and its position as a trading currency. Everyone is really interested in the Fusion Project, as it ticks a lot of boxes for what everyone wants from a planning and buying tool.
Take my wife Diana to watch Chelsea win the Premiership. After the game, we meet Nick Bampton, Jim Marshall from Aegis and the Kelly clan - former Carat chief executive Ray Kelly and his sons Paddy and Johnny - to celebrate Chelsea becoming champions again with far too many drinks on Hollywood Road.