My Media Week: Thomas Laranjo

This week, Thomas Laranjo, managing director at launch and growth media specialist Total Media, readies a big pitch, prepares to speak at Media 360 and enjoys the hospitality at Lords a little too much. Is this really the best week to give up smoking?

Thomas Laranjo: managing director at Total Media
Thomas Laranjo: managing director at Total Media


I don't bother with an alarm clock any more. I get woken up by my two-year-old daughter Ellie singing instead. It's my turn for the nursery run today.

Mondays are very meeting heavy. I have a lot of one-on-one meetings with each of the team heads. Then we have our executive management meeting to look at the agenda and the shape of the week ahead. There are currently three things we need to focus on: the sheer volume of new business that we are dealing with, and the increase in requests from clients to ramp up activity. Both are positive, but need balancing and managing. The third bit regards the redevelopment of our office.

There are 92 of us at the London office and with an increasing number of new people joining, we need more desks and meeting space. For us it's important that we don't just ram in more desks and that it's sympathetic.

In the afternoon, I speak to the trade press for an in-depth analysis on BT's new sports channels. If they get their digital and mobile offering right, they will become a serious thorn in Sky's neck, and potentially transform the entire landscape of sports broadcasting.

I leave the office early and rush to pick up Ellie from nursery. She's all covered in red paint, and I bundle her onto the bus. Everyone looks at us like we need to go to A&E. When the "looks" don’t subside, I feel compelled to explain that it is "just" red paint.


No nursery run today, so I leave to go to the office early. On my walk to the station, I tend to read BBC News on my phone. I've been flipping between the mobile web and app platform and have to say I don't enjoy the app as much. It doesn't have enough content. Then I buy The Guardian for the train – almost beyond cliché for a media man.

Before entering the office, I grab an enormous coffee at Caffe Nero. My first and most important meeting today is with our product development team. We sign off the recruitment and build for the user-experience and content teams. Both are fantastic additions to our integrated service offer. We also "crack" a €23m pitch we're involved in, which is both exciting and a relief.

I'm an Arsenal fan. With two games to go and sitting two points behind Tottenham, we need to beat Wigan to vault up the league table. I rush back home to watch that with friends and a beer, and we win 4-1! 

Now it's all down to the last game. Not only do I have a £50 bet with Mike Sell, our chairman and a Tottenham fan, but if Arsenal finishes above Spurs, then he will have to wear an Arsenal kit to the office. Unfortunately, the bet also works the other way around. Desperately trying to avoid the horror of having to do that.


This morning I’m supposed to be flying to Luxembourg to present at one of the ALFI events – The Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry – about social media and the impact this has on the investment community. However, the event has been postponed and I'm secretly quite pleased. 

With the new pitch, upcoming Westminster Media Forum and our sponsorship of Media 360, where I am also speaking, I'm glad to claw back some time to prepare for all of that. I'm also happy to see that our client Random House has won the Publisher of the Year award from The Bookseller.

The big thing today, and always the nicer part of my job, is agreeing the promotion of two people, Sian and Jamie, in recognition of their great work across a number of our clients, including VisitOrlando, Bloomsbury, Total Greek Yoghurt and A2 Milk.

In the evening I have my executive coaching. I meet my coach Sarah at Southbank in the members' lounge of the Royal Festival Hall. It gives you some egocentric time to focus on yourself and your issues. I must say it's a bit of a treat. She sets me some quite challenging visualisation exercises. I follow the session with a drink on the Southbank and make my way home.


It's straight into a coffee meeting with our non-executive director, Henry Row, to chat about how the agency is doing and how we can work better together. He is the smartest man on the planet and lovely with it. A rare combination.

Every Thursday we have our TM management meeting with all the heads of department. Today, Yesmin, our head of SEO, gives an update on the latest Google Penguin and Panda updates, and specifically what happens if a company gets penalised and how we can help them recover from such a penalty.

I take a moment to reflect on Google content and how quickly it has become a forensic science. What's also interesting today is the news coming out of Google's annual IO conference and the evolution of conversation search, powered by Google's impressive knowledge graph. One to watch out for.

Back to the pitch. This time it's to press "submit". Done.


Today I go to the cricket at Lords with Nathan and Justin from Fred Olsen, and Guy, our CEO. We arrive nice and early, settle into the hospitality area, have a fantastic breakfast and then the England versus New Zealand match begins. We watch a couple of hours before getting our first bottle of champagne, and then enjoy an amazing lunch. Lords has the best hospitality I've seen!

I have to admit that after lunch we get lost in the hospitality of Lords and the cricket slides very much into the background. That's pretty much the story of the day.

As I emerge from the cricket ground, I make my way home thinking that this is a great way to finish the working week. Although, I’m about to give up smoking and tomorrow will be the first of many as a non-smoker. No pressure really, seeing that the whole media world will know next week through reading this that I've quit. And now I'm not so sure if giving up this week was the wisest of choices.

Personal CV

Age: 33.
Favourite media: Sky Plus for its ability to record and watch back. It's the only way I can actually see the programmes I want. And BBC Radio 6.
My dream job: Fly half for England.
Not a lot of people know this about me... Every single person in my family works in advertising.

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