A Week In My Life: Mark Varley, Managing Partner and Head of Havas Media Manchester

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

This week Mark Varley, Managing Partner and Head of Havas Media Manchester, runs us through a week in his working life. To suggest another senior media or creative figure to feature in A Week In My Life, please email david@prolificnorth.co.uk

Monday 7th November

My week starts with some lovely family time with my wife and daughter as we return from a long weekend in the Lake District. On the drive back home I catch up with social media to see how the Startup Weekend in Manchester went. The feedback was really positive, which was great to see. Havas were involved through our 18 team, working with EDF to set the challenge for the weekend.

On arriving home I then catch-up with emails, before joining a new business briefing call with our Group Creative Director, Nick Wright. Nick is one of those brilliant people who you just want to spend some time with, as he always has an insight and a simple way of making the complicated, simple.

Tuesday 8th November

I'm on the early morning red eye special to London, which means a taxi at 5am to get to Preston station. Despite the intense cold (the heating is broken on the train) I get some work done and prepare for a TV Licensing planning meeting. TVL are a great client to work with and are genuinely unique, with a number of partners and stakeholders who we work with on the account as part of 'Team TVL'.

After the meeting I catch-up with colleagues in our London office in the heart of the West End. This won't be for much longer though, as all of the Havas companies are coming together at the start of 2017 in to a purpose built Havas Village space in Kings Cross.

Wednesday 9th November

We are hosting IPA training courses in the office today, so myself and a colleague are in early to meet the trainer and get everything set-up and ready. When you are in a start-up environment, you have to roll your sleeves up and do a lot of stuff yourself, so in this case it means me popping to the shop on the way in and sorting the catering. The IPA do a tremendous job, so we are delighted to have the opportunity to do our bit to support them locally.

I then head down to London with colleagues Kath and Hannah for a session with colleagues in London to work through planning for an upcoming meeting. It is a really constructive session and we finish the day with a clear view of what is needed. The train home is set to 'Heat of Hades', which is quite a contrast to the day before. A few cold drinks soon helps to counteract the heat though.

Thursday 10th November

One of our big objectives when we launched the Havas Media Manchester office was to support the local market by bringing in new money. We have done this through some new business wins, but are also working on transitioning a few clients from London who are a really good fit for our team and structure in Manchester.

I spend part of the day working with some of my Managing Partner colleagues in London to work up the transition plans that we have agreed with our clients to make these happen. The afternoon is then back on focusing on another new business project that we are working on. It's extremely busy with a lot on the go, but that's how we like it!

Friday 11th November

The week draws to a close with a morning of conference calls to discuss 2017 plans for a client, which are centred around a big TV sponsorship. There is a lot of work to be done maximise the value of the overall partnership, as well as to connect all of their other marketing activity to this. There's a lot of detail to be worked through, so although the calls are lengthy, the rigour is needed to ensure that everything is right first time.

The afternoon is spent with the team to talk through a strategy presentation for a new client. We have a really good session and get a chance to stress test the story and ensure that everything really does work together and deliver meaningful connections for the client. The hours are well spent and we finish the day feeling pleased with the results. I finish my day by catching up with emails, before preparing to head home for Friday night bath night with my daughter. She's nearly 2 and this is something I try to prioritise each week for some quality time. It's a great way to finish the working week, although it does usually involve me getting soaked!

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