A Week in My Life: Dan Mowbray, Director of All Response Media
This week Dan Mowbray, Director of All Response Media, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday October 9th
I leave my home in Sunderland early and set off for the office in Leeds. I have a slightly 'alternative' set-up whereby I live at home in Sunderland with my wife, Kelly, and two daughters, Lily and Poppy, but stay in Leeds to be near the office during the week. We've been doing it for some years now and have made it work via routine and flexibility. Of course, I couldn't follow my beloved Sunderland AFC otherwise, which is a huge cross to bear!
I have a morning briefing session with the senior team to discuss the key priorities for the week ahead. There is so much going on as always with 2018 planning for client partners well underway and new business meetings in the offing, so preparation and planning is key.
No doubt there will be more thrown into the mix over the coming days too! It's great to formulate a plan at the start of the week. We also have four new starters this week so I discuss induction plans with the guys and make sure we give them the appropriate All Response Media family welcome.
The afternoon entails some forecasting for our impending senior leadership call the following morning, as well as a few interviews with some really talented individuals as we look to strengthen our Leeds team further.
Home time is 6.30pm today via a quick run in the gym. However, I injured my ribs last Saturday falling off a rope-swing in a tree (I won't elaborate further other than I was with the kids at the time and trying to impress them) so it was a struggle!
Tuesday October 10th
I arrive at the office at 8am this morning, in time for our senior leadership multi-office call. All Response continues to grow locally as well as internationally, having last year opened an office in Amsterdam and this year opening up in Boston to add to our UK operations in London and Leeds. The call is very much focused on keeping our macro collective objectives aligned across the offices, as well as taking time to go through our business numbers, variances and to identify any areas that they may impact upon.
It's good to stay close to the numbers regularly and to hear a little bit about all the amazing work and great client performance that is coming out of the agency across its various locations.
The afternoon is spent on client calls and also reviewing with the team a recent quarterly 2 day meeting in London with one of our US-based clients to make sure we're all aligned on actions and strategy moving forward. I find it very useful and cathartic to review such meetings with a little bit of daylight in between them and feedback with the team.
Tuesday ends with another painful session in the gym and a FaceTime call with my wife and kids. My flatmate and partner in crime in Leeds, Liam Cronin, who is in a similar commuting predicament to me with working away during the week (Cork, Ireland in his case), has deserted me as he's in the US at client meetings. No 'Men Behaving Badly' tonight then, rather drinking cups of tea and talking about work!
Wednesday October 11th
Today, I'm on an early train to our London office for a new business meeting, a client meeting and a check-in with some of my colleagues in London. I often like to get into London and feel the energy. But, being honest, I also like to get back out again!
During a busy day in the big smoke, I manage to squeeze in a quick sandwich with Paula, our HR director.
I speak with our Digital Director, Nick Cudahy, in London to discuss our ‘Digital Roadmap' for 2018. What are the big projects we want to land and how do we create a structure that delivers that across of our offices? Being a former head of digital at the agency, and having a digital background since the early days of its growth, it's a channel that does stay close to me and compliments perfectly our proprietary TV technology, which is all the more exciting! We also discuss our new US operation and how the Leeds office are supporting in executing some specialist activity for our team there.
I finish off the day with a quick drink with a client who is in town, and then it’s off to dinner with our ARM Managing Director, CJ. Thankfully we're on his patch so he's buying! I was supposed to be playing football tonight but, hey, I've got bruised ribs remember!
Thursday October 12th
Back in Leeds today, and due to my bad ribs (a slightly fuzzy head) there is no gym work this morning. The day starts with a quick catch-up with our office manager to discuss phones in meeting rooms, IT inventory, office seating plans and the all-important Tesco orders! I also have a quick chat with a contractor who is coming in to renovate our kitchen area to create some much needed space. The rest of the morning is spent at my desk checking emails.
Early afternoon brings a new business opportunity that comes from literally across the street. It's so refreshing when this happens, as media is so global these days. A new business opportunity could just as easily be from Washington DC as it could be from Leeds itself.
Towards the end of the day, we do our bi-weekly 'Town Hall' session. This is an opportunity for us to come together as an agency to share information around the business in general, and to showcase and highlight great breaking and existing client campaigns. With an increasingly fragmented media landscape, it's great to be able to bring everybody together regularly. I heard just this week that Sergei Brin and Larry Page still address everyone at Google on a weekly basis! This is 70,000 people! Whether that's true or not, we should be able to do it with 40 people, and continue to do so for some time to come!
The Town Hall ends with 'shuttlecock of the fortnight' (don't ask) and a personality quiz. Did we open the beer fridge early? I'll let you guess!
Friday October 13th
I'm working from home today, which during a break thankfully allowed me the opportunity to go and see my children perform in their Autumn Liturgy at school. Lily has a major reading part this time so I'm excited. I don't always get to see these events with working away during the week so it's always a lovely and treasured time when I get to do so.
I spend the rest of the day doing a mixture of client calls, internal calls, personal development write-ups and 2018 client planning documents. It's wonderful to be able to be around when the kids get home from school as well. A good end to a busy and fruitful week. Plans tonight? Just a glass of wine with my wife and (probably) the soaps, although I'm not complicit in that viewing habit.
Saturday October 14th
The start of the weekend brings dancing and tap classes with the girls in the morning, followed by bikes in the park…and no jumping out of trees this time!
Sunday October 15th
The week ends with a lazy morning and swimming with the kids, followed by a hearty Sunday lunch. Then it’s time to pack my bags and get ready to do it all again!