Our Chief Executive Officer, Marcus

MediaLab

Marcus, Medialab’s Chief Executive Officer, shares what a typical day looks like for an independent media agency’s CEO.

PRE-MORNING

I have an early start today, waking up at 6 am to drive my son to school. It’s roughly a 2-hour round trip, so it’s quality time to catch up, where I hope to get a little more than teenage grunts out of him… I’m usually in the office 3 to 4 days of the week, but when I’m taking him to school, I’ll be working from home otherwise it would be a tight squeeze getting into London, as we live out in the sticks!

MORNING

We have a daily Board call at 9 am so assuming I can navigate the M40 successfully, I’m back in time to host that. As with all my meetings, I will have prepared for this the night before as I hate the feeling of chasing my tail… As the old adage goes fail to prepare, prepare to fail! The Board call is hugely valuable, discussing operations, our teams, finances and getting a pulse check from my most senior team. The recent passing of the Queen has meant a lot of rescheduling of campaign activity for clients so naturally, we want to take the lead in helping them with this while also dealing with logistical challenges against the backdrop of quite a sensitive issue – so I want to make sure this is handled respectfully.

After the meeting, I’ll make a call to my Executive PA, June, to work through my key meetings and also try to block times out in my day during which I can prepare or get into some of my key projects. One glance at my calendar tells me I could not cope without June’s help – she’s invaluable!

MID-MORNING

After a quick caffeine injection, I meet with our Head of HR, Catherine. We are proud sponsors of MEFA (Media for All), a network that helps Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities thrive within our industry. We are co-hosting an upcoming MEFA Matters event with them, which involves a panel discussion on a topic that is close to our hearts. For us at Medialab, supporting the mental health of everyone that works here is something we always prioritise, and so this event is going to be focused on exploring the ways in which companies can provide bespoke and inclusive mental health support for all, taking into account the different approaches required for different ethnic backgrounds.

LATE-MORNING

Next up is our hugely anticipated Speaker’s Corner event with clients.  Speaker’s Corner is an initiative which emanated from Lockdown, whereby some of the Medialab team or an external guest speaker shares industry news, innovations or research that is relevant to our clients. It’s a brilliant event as it’s an opportunity for our clients to hear from industry experts and media owners. For this session, our Integration Director, Nick, and our Non-Executive Director, Amice, are presenting a session titled ‘Navigating the Big Squeeze’. This report is based on bespoke research we commissioned with YouGov around the cost of living crisis and the impact it’ll have on our clients’ target audiences over the coming months. It was a fantastic session, with lots of engagement, a record number of attendees and a huge effort in pulling everything together by Nick. It’s an extremely timely piece and we’ll be sharing some key findings for this across our social channels in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out.

LUNCH

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to make healthy lunches and properly prepare my food… given it’s September now, I really should make a start on achieving this …alas, today wasn’t the day. My wife, Penny, is also working from home today so we’ll chat during lunch and ask how each other’s days are going. I have to say my dog, Dotty, generally bears the brunt of my chatter during the day, which is great as she never answers back, and I assume her silence is pretty much tacit agreement with pretty much everything I say.

AFTERNOON

In the afternoon I’ll block out some time to call some of our clients. One of the things I love about my role and something that’s always been important to me is maintaining relationships with our clients, some of whom I have been working with for over 10 years. Our new business team is also incredibly busy at the moment, which is a very positive sign, so I check in with some of the teams to discuss opportunities and next steps with certain prospects.

Throughout the day I’ve also been receiving updates from Catherine about our new intake of ‘Bootcampers’. Our Bootcamp scheme is an entry route for anyone ready to kick-start their career in media and following a competitive and highly successful recruitment process, we have 9 new faces gracing the Medialab office. I look forward to meeting them in person tomorrow, as I’m hosting one of their many introductory meetings to help them get the lay of the land.

EVENING

I had to pop out earlier for a bit of physio on an injury I sustained during a very competitive Medialab Sports Day back in August. We do, quite literally, throw ourselves into everything here. It was such a good day, but I am paying for it with a torn hamstring. Need to remember I’m no longer 26…! As I’m at home, I tend to work a bit later which is one of the benefits of no commute.

Finally, after I’ve logged off, I’ll wind down for the evening with my family. It was my birthday recently (sadly, I’m not 27 either), so we are still making our way through the cake; a lovely Victoria Sponge made by a local aspiring baker. He’s only 18 and already has bags of baking talent, delicious! To round off, I usually take Dotty out for a walk with my wife, which is always welcome after spending the day at my desk.

IF YOU WEREN’T AT MEDIALAB WHERE WOULD YOU BE?

I did have grand illusions of being a professional footballer and playing for my beloved Spurs one day, but that was always a pipe dream I’m afraid. Something that did have legs for a while, was being lined up to join the Diplomatic Corps, which I think would also make for an interesting job too….! I had romantically imagined it being more 007 than a suited civil servant, but I’ve clearly watched too many movies!

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