A Week in My Life: Matt Peden, Director of Hatch PR
A specialist in sports PR, Hatch PR's Director Matt Peden has been involved in helping save Portsmouth Football Club, celebrating Ketel One’s 325th anniversary and even announcing the hosts of Rugby League World Cup 2021.
He's now been at the agency for 10 years and has shared what a week in his working life is really like...
So, a very unusual and sad start to my week after hearing confirmation of Thomas Cook’s demise. We’ve worked with Thomas Cook Sport – the travel firm’s specialist sports division – for around eight years providing PR, social media and sponsorship activation services, feeling like an extension to their marketing team. We’ve absolutely loved working with them, they have such a talented group of people who have become friends, so the news felt personal, particularly as I know that the sport business was successful. The impact will be felt across a range of industries from creative and PR, particularly in the North, where I know a lot of agencies will be impacted.
Despite the strange start to the week, it’s a big week for Hatch as we’re packing up to move to a temporary space while our HQ in Leeds is given a huge makeover. After growing from 12 to 24 in Leeds over the last three years, we’ve outgrown our current space and have taken the unit upstairs to create an amazing space that will allow us to continue to grow. It’s a game-changing move.
With some of the senior team in Glasgow for the world’s largest cocktail competition, I start the week with our agency team meeting, which we do every Monday, linking in our London team to map out the week from key movements, priorities and responsibilities – the meeting seems to get longer every week, which can only be a good sign.
The rest of the day is spent in the office with various internal meetings to ensure we are on track to deliver a series of client briefs and events ahead of a very busy few months to finish 2019 with a bang.
I was due to attend the launch of a new sporting club in Manchester that evening, but after the TC news, I just want to get home. I try to leave at 1630 when I’m in the office to get home and spend some time with my 18-month-old daughter before she goes to bed. It’s amazing how she can instantly change my mood when I get home after a tough day, even if she did throw her dinner all over me!
Normal service resumes, kind of, with my standard routine on a Tuesday morning. 0530 alarm to go on the bike – I quickly press the snooze button and go back to sleep for an hour. Absolutely rubbish! In the office for 0800, where we were busy planning a campaign with The English Football League (EFL) and its charity partner, Mind, called “Goals Worth Talking About”.
Ahead of World Mental Health Day (October 12), which this year focuses on suicide prevention, we asked football fans at a number of EFL clubs across the country to vote for their most iconic EFL moment, with the idea of recreating that moment in a piece of street art in their respective cities. All with the aim of highlighting how football is often a conversation starter, and the importance of talking when it comes to mental health support.
Lots of conversations with city councils, clubs, media and the EFL throughout the day to get this one over the line in time, but the concept is there and we’re confident it will get a good reaction with such a strong message.
Didn’t make it home on time so I avoided the dinner being thrown on me tonight, although I did get soaked head to toe bathing the little monster while she pointed and laughed at me. The daily joy of fatherhood…
Today is “Bob the Builder” day. My rare free morning in the diary led to a mixture of emails, unwiring desks, phone calls, packing boxes and trips to a storage unit.
Dusting myself off (literally), I spend the rest of the afternoon working with the team on two exciting new business proposals. Impressed with the concepts we’ve created and both pitch teams seem organised and understand what the client is looking for. We seem to be on a good streak with new opportunities and as an agency, we are going in the right direction, so long may that continue.
On a Wednesday, my wife takes my daughter to my parents for the night, so we have the usual weekly conundrum of dinner and a few drinks, or early night to catch up on sleep? The first option wins on a regular basis and does so tonight.
This morning I attended a business networking event at the Deloitte offices in Leeds, who have partnered with Rugby League World Cup 2021, a client of ours at Hatch. The event was celebrating diversity and inclusion, something I feel the 2021 event will pioneer, particularly as the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments will take place at the same time and on the same stage. It’s a project I am fully immersed in and enjoy hearing stories from ambassadors Jodie Cunningham and James Simpson. I do have to get away quickly to spend some time with the tournament Chief Executive ahead of a very busy couple of months for us. A good catch up and full speed ahead on agreeing the approach subject to a few logistical elements falling into place… only 757 days to go!
I walk back to the Leeds Dock office in a rare bit of sunshine and get back to what looks a very bare space. Reality hits home that the office is going to triple in size over the next few months, so it’s time to sit down with our accountant, who comes in once a week (always a whirlwind!) to keep everything ticking along. More work on the EFL Mind activity with a week to go until we start our first event in Sunderland and significant progress being made by the team ahead of an update call tomorrow afternoon – one thing I do love about our agency is its ability to turn big projects around quickly but with impact. It really is a Hatch strength, without boasting, if horrendous for your heart rate!
While driving home, I finally get some good news on Thomas Cook Sport after a call from a colleague who sheds some light on their next move, which sounds promising for them and importantly several others.
Home to see the little one on her return from Nanna and Grandad’s. Mild panic before I go to sleep because of how much we have to do for the move tomorrow, so the alarm is set an hour earlier than normal, and I hardly get any sleep!
Up before the alarm, never a good sign, and out like a ninja before it gets light to sort the office out. With Friday usually being a full day of calls, reports and the occasional crisis (not mentioning the brand!), I was conscious of getting everything office-move related done before 0900.
An unusual day unfolds. The glamour of PR then sends the team and I up and down Leeds Dock taking 12 desks, 24 chairs, 24 monitors, multiple boxes and a fire extinguisher to the temporary space. All goes surprisingly well, without the dreaded IT hiccup, but one of the team did sprain their ankle on the walk – can anyone remember where we packed the accident book?
Really good afternoon call on our big project for next week going well and everyone seems to have settled into the new temporary space with ease. To celebrate the week, I send some of the team to get a few drinks for everyone seeing as our usual bar is out of action.
A quiet weekend ahead no doubt thinking what will next week bring. With our industry, who knows but I do know it won’t involve a screwdriver! Hopefully.