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A Week In My Life: Nev Ridley, Managing Director of ilk


This week Nev Ridley, managing director of Leeds agency ilk, runs us through a week in his working life. To suggest another senior media or creative figure for A Week In My Life, please email

Monday 23rd January

It’s the end of the first month since the Christmas break – which has inevitably gone far too fast, and also means it’s meeting-heavy. I live in Manchester, but our HQ is in Leeds (bad planning on my part – hurry up HS3!), so first I have to undertake the often-agonising commute across the M62. I set off early, at 6.15am to avoid the major delays, and get into the office when it’s a little quieter!

We kick-start the week with our monthly management meeting, where our senior leadership team discuss everything from our financial target progress to new business updates, key client performance, staff development and recruitment.

Next up is a brainstorm for a new client pitch. It’s a PR brief but we get guys from across the business involved. It’s not unusual for some of our best PR ideas to come from someone in the design or CAM team!

I try to leave by 5pm so I can get back and see the family as I am away for a couple of days.

Tuesday 24th January

Early start and I’m heading to Manchester Piccadilly. We’ve just launched our London office and it’s my first time visiting our new pad. Beth, our Client Services Director, who has made the move to London to head the new team, shows me the ropes and it’s great to see how it has come together after all of the hard work and planning.

Next up is a new business pitch, which – if successful – will be our first large retainer in the capital. All goes to plan; the client seems impressed so fingers crossed! I’m overnight, as we have another meeting in the morning, so maybe just a small glass of red before getting some sleep!

Wednesday 25th January

Exciting day as we welcome an international client flying in from Istanbul to sign a contract for a piece of business, which has been about six months in the making.

Leeds agency invests £185,000 in London operationAfter a swift tour of our new office, it’s down to work. This is a really interesting piece of business as it is a re-brand involving a name change too, so a big project. To kick things off we deliver an integrated brand workshop, with myself, Beth, Richard – our Head of Strategy – and some of our creative account management team. This session is essentially an opportunity to get a real grasp and understanding of the organisation, its vision, values, objectives, key markets, competitors and much more. It’s just the first step in starting to develop the thought and strategy behind the new brand.

I’m on the 7.40pm back from Euston, so I grab a quick bite to eat and then head home ahead of another early start in the morning.

Thursday 26th January

Today it’s back up to the North – I head to our HQ at Leeds Dock to show the client around our offices, meet the full team and enjoy some quality northern grub at the Lamb and Flag. It’s an opportunity to relax and enjoy the client’s company away from the business chat. Then I race back home to take my son to his football training. He’s only five and is training with a Man City development team – as an avid Man City fan, it’s a weekly appointment I wouldn’t miss for the world… I’m one very proud dad!

Friday 27th January

A Week In My Life: Sarah Lawless, Head of North West Operations at BIG PartnershipThankfully as it’s a Friday, I’m Manchester-based today. The only meeting I have is with our lawyers. We have signed up a Belgian brewery and will be working with them to exclusively promote their beer in the UK. This deal involves us working with them on distribution deals too so we need to ensure the contract is right.

After that I head home, squeeze in a run and just catch up with emails.

Both boys play football (after school) on Friday’s so I get to watch them for a while (it’s freezing) and pick them up. It’s my turn to cook tonight too – I actually love cooking and find it incredibly relaxing; this could be thanks to being able to listen to some of my favourite tunes in the company of a decent bottle of Malbec!

A busy but productive week – whatever happened to January…?

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