Susie McAvoy’s ‘My Week in Media’

Susie McAvoy shares a week in the life of a Business Director working in our busy London offices. 


We hit the ground running every Monday morning and head straight into our company-wide status meeting to discuss the figures, new business coming in and opportunities that will add value to our service offering to our clients. It’s great to see that budgets are still being approved for July and our Buying team are working hard to ensure August opportunities are fully identified and communicated to our agency and client teams. Our new Head of Insight, Ross Wilson, brings us up to speed on the research projects we are undertaking, which is an integral part of our business strategy going forward to demonstrate measurable business results to our clients. I hold a team-status meeting this morning where we have a greater focus on our patch, ensuring the team are fully prepped on key priorities for the week. Today also sees the installation of our Media Wall into the innovation room which we use to showcase the latest technology to our clients as well as it being a great place to hold internal meetings and lively brainstorm sessions. We are involved in a large pitch at the moment with UM so it‘s all hands to deck for most of the day fine-tuning the hard work we put in last week. Pitch day is fast approaching on Wednesday and every spare moment is spent on final edits to craft our perfect finish before we go to print tonight. It’s a late finish but the end result is worth it and we finally switch off the lights after a long but satisfying start to the week.


This morning kicks off with a breakfast meeting at the Covent Garden Hotel with Lizzie Horgan from Eye to discuss potential ideas for one of my retail clients who really values the spending power of the affluent traveller. Back in the office we hold an inspirational session discussing the recent Cannes Lions award winners, which always generates a lively debate. After this we sit down as a team and flesh out the final details for a FMCG workshop we are hosting at Mediabrands in a few days’ time whilst being careful not to drop the ball on our day-to-day client requirements. We are often juggling several large projects along with multiple stages of several campaigns at any one time so it’s incredibly important to make sure that we are operating as efficiently as possible as a team, and good communication is always at the heart of this.

In the afternoon I hold team quarterly KPI reviews to check progress on achieving the individual goals set for the year. We have strong talent in the team and it’s great to see their progression through the year and the passion they have for OOH coming through loud and clear. We have a challenging last-minute request for the pitch tomorrow and move heaven and earth to make it happen, and will only find it in the morning if we managed to pull it off…


The first thing I think about this morning when I wake up is the pitch! I find out that our efforts were rewarded last night and with the support of two close allies in the industry (one of which worked through the night to make it happen) we have a happy agency ready for battle with an extra trick up their sleeve! New business is the life blood of many agencies and whether we are pitching as Rapport or with Mediabrands we take each one extremely seriously and give it our all. With everything in hand I feel slightly more relaxed in being out of the office today. I’m networking at Henley Regatta with clients and agencies, although I spend much of the morning glued to my phone before relaxing once I know the pitch is underway. My phone battery dies at around 4pm and after that I switch off and enjoy a great day out with business colleagues whilst we cheer on the rowers.


As usual, I get the Northern Line from Clapham South into Tottenham Court Road. I can’t help but take note of who’s actively advertising on the Underground on each journey. That’s one of the perils of this job; you can never fully switch off as you see OOH advertising every day whether you’re working or not. The morning starts with a 9am management meeting which we hold every Thursday to track our progress both financially and with our various business and marketing strategies. Talent acquisition is high on the agenda currently as we are continuously strengthening our client offering and need to ensure we have enough of the right assets and skills within the company to do this.

After this I catch up with my Account Director Natasha Rufus-Smith to discuss client updates and specific campaign plans that we are working on this week. We have 30 live briefs at the moment so I check the progress on these and put in a few calls to the respective Agency Group Heads to check progress their end and see if I can help move things along. It’s a beautiful sunny day today so I encourage the team to all get out for lunch and soak up some rays. Unfortunately I end up wandering into the shops in Covent Garden and return with several dresses. Well, a girl needs something to wear to all these work functions we attend. The afternoon sees final preparations for tomorrow’s FMCG day and tying up any loose ends ready for our 9am start.


I arrive at St John’s Square bright and early for our FMCG workshop to check the equipment is all in place and working. After a slight IT-issue we are fully on track and await our agency planners with breakfast all laid out. The purpose of the workshop is to demonstrate how OOH drives sales for FMCG brands which we’ve split into 3 tiers of Thinking, Sparking & Learning, in line with Author, our planning pathway. Ross Wilson, our Head of Insight, and Holly Stile from Clear Channel lead the insight section defining the role for OOH with consumer and shopper behaviour insights. Next up is the Sparking section and Matt Leggett does a superb job showcasing Decaux’s digital POS offering at Tesco which is driven by Dunnhumby purchasing behaviour. The final section is all about delivering measurable results, and we end the session happy that we’ve delivered another great example of our Rewarding Connections brand promise to our agency planners.

I have a 30 minute power session with the Heads of OOH whilst at Mediabrands, before meeting a couple of the UM planners for lunch at their local Artisan pub. The afternoon whizzes by as I catch up on bookings that have been made in the morning while I’ve been out of the office. I bring back ice-cream treats for the team to thank everyone for their hard work this week and ensuring the success of our FMCG day. Just as we’re about to finish up for the day, I receive great news that we’ve made it through to the final stage of the pitch. Our hard work has paid off and it’s a satisfying and great way to close the week. Ready to do it all again on Monday!

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