Our Head of Planning, Jess

A WEEK IN THE LIFE

Jess Talbot joined Medialab as Head of Planning in October 2023. With over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, Jess is an experienced comms planner with strong knowledge of the multimedia landscape. Her role is to lead the agency’s media planning output, driving creative, efficient, and integrated cross-channels plans that deliver on client objectives. Here’s what a day in Jess’s life looks like:

 

PRE-MORNING  

My wake-up time is around 6:45am, no matter where I’m working for the day, to avoid a morning rush! If I’m working from home, I’ll start my day with a walk around the local park. On office days, I spend most of my morning commuting, crammed onto the tube. As Head of Planning, my days are often filled with meetings, so I like to take this time to plan out and prioritise my tasks for the day, ready for when I get into the office. However, I’ll also try to enjoy some music or a podcast – something like Off Menu. Before I head into the office, I always make sure to stop at Pret to use my subscription (which I share with my husband: very economical!).

MORNING  

My role as Head of Planning means I’m involved in multiple projects and workstreams, so morning tasks can vary. I always start my day reading trade press so that I have a feel for what’s going on in the industry and keep up to date on any exciting news. Today, after I settled in at my desk, I jumped straight into a meeting regarding one of our long-standing client’s 2024 brand plans and also sat in a meeting with an exciting new potential client! My day-to-day consists of guiding and supporting our media planning and exploring new ways to elevate our output. This morning, the team and I were brainstorming a potential new approach to planning.

LUNCH 

Going for a walk on your lunch break is a fantastic way to clear your mind and get yourself back on track after a busy morning, so I always try to get out of the office for a bit. There’s a poke bowl place right around the corner from the office that I love, so I usually grab one of those, especially as I’m trying to eat a bit healthier on the run up to Christmas! Today, I dialled into a super insightful Medialab webinar, ‘Navigating the Big Squeeze – The Era of Considered Consumption’, led by our brilliant Integration Director, Nick, while I was eating my lunch. This was a great way to gain valuable insight into how consumers are behaving and how our client partners should navigate the landscape in 2024.

AFTERNOON  

Today most of my afternoon is centred on advising our client partners on their 2024 planning, being as we’re so close to the New Year. We’ve been delving into a whole host of important topics, from the Cost-of-Living Crisis to Media Inflation, so there’s lots of big conversations going on in the office. Otherwise, I’ve been a part of planning some exciting standalone projects recently. We’re reaching the crescendo of our work on one of the them and we’re gearing up to present our final recommendations to the clients very soon – there’s some really fun stuff happening at Medialab right now.

EVENING  

This evening, I’ll be at the Medialab Christmas Party, celebrating with the rest of the lovely Medialabbers, which is always lots of fun. On a typical evening at home, my husband and I are currently project managing the renovation of our new home, so I spend most of my free time reading architecture blogs and making interior design decisions – you could call it my unpaid second job at this point!  

IF YOU WEREN’T AT MEDIALAB, WHAT YOU BE DOING? 

I’d like to be an artist; the idea of being an Illustrator has always appealed to me – so I love that there are elements of creativity in the day-to-day.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE LOOKING TO GET INTO THE INDUSTRY?

In this industry, ALL experience is welcome! What makes media so interesting is that everyone’s opinion is valid – and diversity of thought is so crucial to ensuring we understand the audiences we’re trying to speak to. Think about what really interests you in the industry. Is it planning? Or digital channels? Maybe it’s social media or influencers? There are so many angles to take, so think about your passion points, do some exploration and start from there. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to reach out – most, if not all, people in the industry are more than happy to help out.

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