If you ask Active UK's Laura Dawson what makes her tick, she'd tell you it's all about staying connected and thinking creatively. We sat down with the Media Manager to see what keeps her inspired in her day-to-day.
Press & OOH Media Manager
What is the purpose of your role and how does this impact a client's success?
My role is to oversee the daily running of the Press & OOH team in conjunction with our Media Manager, Neesha Coelho. Ultimately, the team fulfill our clients’ requirement to generate value from product and services by maximising trading capabilities with our media partners. To do that, our time is split between servicing key relationships with our agency partners whilst also communicating closely with our media partners to ensure we understand their business requirements and where our models might present and opportunity for them to improve their own efficiencies.
This account management of media partners is a core part of the role, and I hold specific responsibility for OOH, whilst Neesha does the same across newsbrands and magazines – providing focus and understanding. As well as the task of staying close to our OOH partners to help them maximise value from barter, it’s also my role to champion OOH to our clients and agency partners, whilst ensuring the wider team and company are kept up to speed on developments within the medium.
What does a typical day look like to you?
First thing, we usually catch up as a team to establish the key focus areas for the day ahead, followed by phone calls in to each of the dedicated barter point-persons that most agency partners now have within their teams so we understand what is needed from each party. In fact, one of my favourite aspects of the role is that we are constantly in touch with our clients, media agencies and media partners so it is usual for us to be on the phone for most of each morning.
Days vary, but if it’s not the main Media meeting on a Tuesday morning, then it’s phone calls or breakfast meetings. There’s a constant need for re-education across the industry especially in regard to what opportunities Active can bring our partners. This means I’m out and about as much as possible in the day – be it a catch-up over coffee, a presentation, or even a lunch to celebrate some great business. All of this is designed to build relationships and keep Active understood and front of mind within both agencies and media partners. We are also lucky enough to meet a lot of our partners for lunch meetings which usually happens two or three times a week.
Most interesting project?
My most interesting project would probably be the deals that we have executed for Jacquart Champagne, allowing the client to generate ad budget using their stock. I was able to use my past experience in OOH media planning to create a response to brief that would fulfill their objectives and KPIs. Jacquart used their product to fund a long-term Taxi (VeriFone) and Rail D6s (JCDecaux) campaign in central London, which they repeated the following year. Active’s access to champagne then allowed our media partners to source it for parties and events, which was paid for in media space rather than cash. One of the most rewarding elements of my role is not only facilitating payment in client stock, but also helping to increment and generate budgets for clients who don’t have the cash to fund an advertising campaign.
Most satisfying challenge?
Many of our media partners realise the full value that can be achieved through engaging with Active, whether using their media space to fund an electricity bill, digital screens, telephone contract, client entertainment trips, etc. However, there are always new recruits at media partners to be educated, and there’s nothing more satisfying than finding a solution for a partner that has taken the time to engage with us on a level beyond just their sales ledger. Not only does it maximise value from barter for our media partner but in turn, it enables our clients to access the resultant media space. Active and barter can deliver huge commercial benefits to all parties involved.
3 qualities needed to succeed in your role?
To be creative, passionate and engaging.
Describe Barter in 3 words?
Significant, efficient, strategic.
Tell us something we don't know about you?
My Grandad, whilst working at Bowyers in Wiltshire, was one of the key contributors to the Brains Pork Faggots recipe. He still gets royalties…of around 5p a year.