My Media Week: Catherine Becker

This week, Catherine Becker, chief operating officer of AdConnection, attends the Arctic Monkeys at the O2, does her best "Tulisa" and talks augmented reality and mobile.

Catherine Becker: chief operating officer of AdConnection
Catherine Becker: chief operating officer of AdConnection

Monday

It's an unusually early 5.45am start this week, following a busy weekend of Freeze Festival hosted by the lovely Channel 4. There were about 50 folk from C4 including our hosts Tamsin Irving, sales development account manager, Johanna Pottinger and Laura Flynn, sales development, Channel 4 Television, and four of us from AdConnection.

I also squeezed in Arctic Monkeys and The Vaccines at the O2 on Saturday. 

I check emails, LinkedIn updates and Twitter, get myself ready, have a family breakfast and head off at 7am to walk an hour and a quarter to take my son to school (the road is blocked).  Dash to the Tube, grabbing a copy of Metro and City AM to catch up on the news and check client ads.

It's standing room only, but I still type emails and check out three of our clients' ads on the Tube – Lovestruck, Kabbee, a new mini-cab service, and London Women's Clinic. Take pictures of them in situ to show the clients.

Arrive at the office for 8.45am. Hold a directors' meeting first thing with Elliot Parkus (media director), Nick Baum (client service director), Stephanie May (group account director), and directors Alan Williams and Tim Carr to catch up on the week ahead, new business, client progress and how the team is doing.

We plan this week's communication challenge where everyone will present on the future of media. We check the agenda and ensure everyone is supported and ready. Then I phone as many clients as I can to see how business has been over the weekend.

Pleased to see our client Quooker, behind the innovative boiling hot water tap, has had very strong sales following our proposal of a mobile site.

We recognised that a lot of consumers respond via mobile or smartphone now, so an optimised mobile site is really important to make it easy to respond on the move.

Full team meeting at 11.30am.

Tuesday

Another walk to school, get into work and hold meetings with the team about 2012 planning presentations – there is some very exciting work coming up.

I phone round a few more clients, and am delighted to learn that a Halloween offer and email campaign we recommended to Lovestruck has stormed.

After some one-to-ones on latest plans, I head off to dinner at Gilgamesh with my husband and Howard Bogod, managing director of Bogod Ltd, and his wife.

Bogod Ltd is a client of ours with sole distribution rights to Elica, Viking and Singer products, among others, in the UK.

Wednesday

It's a double walk today – first to older son's school and then back to younger one's to see his school assembly. He's an absolute star and I'm proudly beaming my head off.

Moments like this make life worthwhile. Have a fascinating talk with one of the mums whose husband heads a Libyan bank.

Events are still really raw and she conveys how most people, whatever their views, believe Gaddafi was got rid of in the wrong way. It's fascinating how first-hand views vary from press reports.

Then it's time to get down to some serious Orient Express campaign planning – the partnership activity we brokered with Classic FM is on the verge of breaking.

After catching up with the team, I head off to meet the lovely Jennifer Huxley, head of offline media and PR at 888.com. We talk through current campaigns and strategies going forward.

Then it's straight over to ITV studios with Quooker, where we're in the audience for the filming of the Celebrity Juice Christmas show. Fearne Cotton gives as good as she gets and Towie's Amy Childs talks about her new solo show.

Thursday

Global communication means an early start today. Swap emails with Australia at 6am and then it's a 7am catch-up with Shani Dar, offline media and creative coordinator at 888.com's head office in Israel.

Morning catch-ups with Angharad Rees-Williams, business development manager, commercial and online at ITV, to thank them for yesterday's hospitality and with Ian Tournes, group trading director at IPC, about some activity.

Everyone is warming up for today's communication challenge – an air of excitement and competitive spirit pervades the office.

The judges are our directors Nick "Gary Barlow" Baum (he's just as good a singer!), Elliot "Simon Cowell" Parkus, Stephanie "Kelly Rowland" May and myself as "Tulisa" (stretching it, but wearing the right dress) and guest judge Brett Harding, managing director of Lovestruck.

Participants have five minutes each to present, and I have to say the standard is incredibly high, the key themes being augmented reality, digital fusion of posters with mobile technology, and next generation interactive TV – and three people present on the new prezi.com format.

Looks impressive, although it takes a while to load and you need internet connection. It may become a bit gimmicky in time, but it looks better than PowerPoint.

At 5pm, we gather in reception to reveal the winners. Also announce that one of our senior execs, Lorraine Nolan, has done a fantastic job and been promoted to media manager.

Cheers all round, then the whole team goes off to the Libertine pub. We try and have social evenings as much as possible, so this is a good excuse. A night of drinking and celebration ensues, followed by the obligatory curry.

Friday

Particularly wet hour-and-a-half walk this morning in the rain, but by the time I approach the office, a beautiful sunrise over Southwark lifts the spirits.

Catch up on client work and meet with our financial controller to ensure everything is running smoothly and that media owners are paid.

Due to a late finish at about 8pm, the six of us still in the office go for a customary drink at the Nelson to round off the week.

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