A Week in My Life: Tim McCloud, MD of TMC
Tim McCloud, Managing Director of TMC with offices in Congleton and MediaCityUK, takes us through a week in his working life.
I spent the first two hours of Monday standing in a muddy field with our MP, the Minister of State for the Department of Transport, and 49 other high-vis jackets. There is a reason for this - I've been heavily involved in the strategy and delivery of an innovative communications programme to campaign for a link road, which was why I found myself at 9.47am in a field watching the local mayor drive a digger rather enthusiastically!
Into the office for our slightly delayed Monday morning team meeting. It’s a great way to share news, deadlines, issues and weekly successes. The best part is the conclusion to the meeting with 'Nat’s facts', a small selection of random fact based around the subject nominated by the team from the previous week! (this week theme was torture?!) These meetings certainly improve communication and bring a buzz to the start of the week.
After an update on our Vision 2020 document and a web planning meeting, it was time to hit the gym. I plan a lunchtime session as it makes me focus in the morning and gives me extra energy in the afternoon. Today was a great 30 minutes on the bike followed by a session of squats. Although I’m not sure whether that was entirely sensible? I try to go to three times a week (and to karate on Sunday).
Meetings, calls and catch-ups have pretty much dominated my afternoon. We have some projects for two of the largest European medical societies starting at the moment so planning is dominating the agenda.
Down tools and up to the school. As a governor of a brilliant academy, my input was wanted in a committee meeting. By the end of the meeting, I’m not so sure! Sandwiches were served…with popcorn, very odd?
After the madness of work, it was home to see the kids (two in total - they are amazingly wonderful, except when they are playing on the Xbox). After dinner and the bedtime routine, I found Mrs McCloud watching tv with her eyes shut – it’s been a long day.
Today’s Top Tip:
- Stay away from Mayors driving diggers
Started today by shouting “MILK!” at the kids. It’s amazing how they can just step over the milk on the doorstep and head off to school.
Into the office to catch up on emails before heading out to support a client. Appointment made. Back to the office in a car that is so dirty that I had to wear sunglasses to hide my shame! I can thank my daughters new found interest in horses for the state of the car. It’s amazing how much a stable yard alter what used to be Monte Carlo Blue.
Lunch today was a bag of crisps and a cheese sandwich on the go - clearly the lunch of champions.
After picking up Senior Designer Ant and Account Director Adrian from the office, we had a 3pm meeting with a wonderful client who we have worked with for about eight years. They are looking for ways to communicate a series of significant changes in their industry sector. We generate some great idea, including some that should work really well on social media with video footage.
Back at TMC, the reality of business planning landed on my desk and the subject of recruitment came up. We are looking for an experienced Account Manager and a WordPress developer. It has been on the table for a few weeks and certainly in our growth plans. The concern is over the uncertainty of what next month will bring with Brexit as a significant proportion of our business is in Europe. We have plans but where to place a new team feels a little like pin the tail on the donkey at the moment!
Home, drop one child at their piano lesson and the other for her horse riding lesson. Is it time for a glass of wine yet?
Today’s Top Tip:
- Clean your car before visiting clients so you don’t have to park so far away!
Big day today, I’m having my picture taken for this article. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of having my picture taken.
In the office, I was caught with one of the longest brew rounds in history. It started with me and a couple of the team and progressively grew as the others came in. It’s good to make a cup of tea or coffee for everyone. I think it’s a real leveller and also gives you the chance to check in on folks you might not catch up with during the week.
We had a significant planning meeting this morning. A year-long programme, meetings and deliverables for one of our largest clients. We are growing the services team on the account and looking at how to resource it. It did mean that I had to miss my gym session. Then somehow I ended up eating an egg sandwich for my lunch! Now, why would anyone want to do that?
Between a call with our client HOLOGIC to recap on the campaign we are running and an update on another client, I was shot! (Well I had my picture taken). The most important part of this afternoon was to ensure we had a positive call with the client with some clear actions. The accounts team will start to schedule the work later on today.
Dropping in on a review of our soon-to-be-launched website. It’s great to see the quality of our work being showcased. It certainly is a better reflection of what we do. It hasn’t been an easy process but I believe the final output will be one the whole company will be proud of.
Today’s Top Tip:
- Don’t eat egg sandwiches before talking to clients!
I’ve been asked to present to a group of businesses looking for direction on putting together a winning bid for the East Cheshire Chamber Business Awards. We won Business of the Year in 2018 and Professional Services and the Customer Care Awards over the last few years.
The presentation went really well and it was certainly an engaged group with lots of questions. Said hello to a client who was unsure who had nominated their business - he found out it was TMC and was delighted - that’s a win for me and without a doubt, the highlight of my day.
Once back at TMC towers with coffee in hand, I check in with the studio and accounts team. It’s good to see they haven’t noticed that I was out!
Thursday is always the day we have a management meeting to cover the broad issues of daily life in the agency. I also receive my management dashboard. I have found it an invaluable way to track the performance of the business. Thank you to Nat and Alan for being my left brain for me!
Our open door policy works – One of the Senior Designers walked in my office this afternoon and said: “Can I just sit in here and scream about websites for a minute?" After a coffee and a chat, we both agreed that our new website was coming together. It just needs a final push!
Home time and after taxi service duties (taking the kids to Scouts and Explorers), I think I deserve a grape-based refreshment. After all, it is thirsty Thursday!
Today’s Top Tips:
- Make sure you have a Nat and Alan to ensure your financial dashboard is up to date.
- Definitely don’t ever do your own website!
- Grapes do count as one of your five a day!
Today is office based with client calls as well as project updates. I’ve just signed off on the team heading out to Nice to see our clients at the European Cardiology Society. We have a great programme of work with them this year and we are going to see how we can integrate some new technology into the communications plan.
It’s also another gym day. The lunch time session is great to clear my head - I’m not sure if it’s fitness or therapy? Sam, my trainer, needs a medal for patience. Or does he gets his rewards for putting me through so much pain?
Our quote wall has been updated with some select comments made from the team in the office. As most of our work is in Healthcare and Oncology, the air can be legitimately ripe with some quite direct and descriptive language. Terri, Liam and Georgina seem to have taken the lead with the most outrageous things said in the studio this week. One day I am going to be brave enough to publish them... but not Terri’s. The world is not ready for that!
On Fridays, we plan the jobs boards for the week ahead, assess where we are up to, fight over the deadlines and talent then come to a consensus that works for everyone. It’s best done with some light refreshments and does give the team a chance to wind down from a busy and high energy week.
Today’s Top Tip:
- Don’t ever tell your trainer that you're "going to need some bigger weights!"
So, has it been a good week? – Yes!