A Week in My Life: Martin Wallwork, joint MD at Conker Communications

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Martin Wallwork

Martin Wallwork, joint MD at Conker Communications, gives us an insight into his working week. To suggest another senior media or creative figure for A Week In My Life, please email david@prolificnorth.co.uk.

Monday 26th November

Head to the doorstep to pick up the milk for my first strong cuppa of the day.  Despite the best of intentions, general life admin - like food shopping - slips down the list with such a busy working week – so having milk delivered is a lifesaver.  We recently made the swap from plastic to glass milk bottles, a little hack that’s massively reduced our plastic waste at home.

On the work front, our ‘Glass is Greener’ campaign for Creamline is converting really well for the client – they’ve seen thousands of customers signing up to their online home delivery service. The campaign netted Conker Communications Best Environmental/ Sustainable Marketing campaign in last month’s Northern Marketing Awards, thanks to blanket media coverage, and persuasive on-the-ground activity, so it’s win win. 

Looking forward to working with the Creamline and Conker team as they unfold the next stage of the campaign, with mayor Andy Burnham’s support, the dairy’s planning to effect some massive changes across Manchester.

I run Conker alongside my wife Sarah, who drops our two boys off at school every morning, while I take charge of pickups.  It’s great to have the flexibility – and working together works out too – despite not always being able to call time on work conversations! 

Anyway, I head into work, check in with the team for our Monday meetings, and we set the direction for the week. After that, nothing glamorous to report – basically lots of reports. (I’m not known as Conker’s data geek for nothing – I get genuine pleasure from turning data into real insights to guide marketing campaigns.  I know.)

The rest of the week holds lots in store!

Tuesday 27th November

Driving in to work this morning, had an interesting idea about how to connect two contacts to deliver a world-first for our new client Kiddimoto (former Dragon’s Den winner and makers of Britain’s biggest selling balance bikes). It’s an exciting brand to work with and I get such a buzz working with entrepreneurs who see the opportunity in everything. 

I know this idea will stir up a media storm and create loads of influencer attention – but can’t share more at the moment.  We’ve been working with Kiddimoto’s team to help set the 2019 marketing strategy for them - across their owned and earned channels - and we’ll be working closely with the team to roll it out.

Love working in the leisure and hobbies sector and am really proud of the team for the great media coverage they’re securing this week for another client in this industry: the Netball World Cup 2019.  It’s a big week for this account, with BBC and Sky both announcing they’ll be covering the event next July. 

Pretty chuffed with a result Emily in our office pulled in today – an interview for netball star Jade Clarke with Vassos on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show next week.  Big fan, sure Zoe Ball will do a great job when Chris leaves, but it won’t be the same!

Wednesday 28th November

Meeting at British Salt this morning, to talk about a digital project we’re working on with them.  Going really well, and good to hear they’re so pleased with progress that they’d like us to look at another project hot on the heels of this one: they’re celebrating their 50th anniversary next year and we had a brainstorming session on the ‘saltiest celebs’ to act as ambassadors for this milestone.

Earlier in the year we were taken on by Tata Chemicals Europe – British Salt is one of their companies.  It’s a really rewarding account to work on and we have our Conker PR, digital, analytical and employer brand teams all working together to create a cohesive campaign.

Head back to the office for a knowledge sharing session over our usual Tuesday team lunch at Conker.  On today’s agenda is bringing some of the team, who weren’t delivering the project, up to speed on an Employer Value Proposition we’re working on for Tata Chemicals Europe.  It’s coming together well and is set to launch before Christmas.

Thursday 29th November

Talking of Christmas, had to smuggle our boys’ Elf on the Shelf out of the house this morning for a Swarfega spoof social post we’re planning.  A few tense moments transferring it from hiding space to getting it on the move!  We handle all of Swarfega’s external comms, including their social platforms and the team has loads of fun with this account.

The audience is so engaged, it’s a real example of community and loyalty building, with salesy messaging playing a supporting role.  The shock success of this year was a tweet about World Goth Day which prompted 780,000+ impressions & 140,000 engagements with zero budget. It went out in May and is still getting retweeted today!

This afternoon, we have a new business meeting we’re really excited about – and the lead’s come from the great guy who did work experience with us over the summer.  Looking forward to brainstorming the pitch with the team tomorrow once we’ve taken the initial brief.  Keeping our fingers crossed, as we’d love this one!

Conker Comms is on a growth curve this year – it feels like an exciting time for the team.  Over the years we’ve mainly grown through recommendations, but we’ve taken a dose of our own medicine recently and have started to be a more proactive in our own marketing.  Getting our new website live was a great moment this year after lots of hard work from the team. 

Having said that we’re actively on the look out for new business, it’s really nice to see former clients coming back to us – with one in particular having been lured elsewhere, only to find they didn’t get the same dedicated attention, commercialism and level of service we offer.

Friday 30th November

Played tennis last night – always a great stress reliever, but feeling it a bit this morning!  Can’t believe it’s the end of the week already – and nearly the end of the year.  Head down in the office again today, for the final push before the weekend.

As I’m delving into the stats to hone the next phase of our digital advertising campaign for Creamline, can’t help musing on the steak their delivery team made sure was on our doorstep this morning! Looking forward to that when the weekend starts!