Monday morning, the time for focusing on my division and the projects we have underway. Our Consumer Eye survey measures how consumers are feeling about the economy, and our design team has created a promotional video for Fabulous magazine, which will help us give agencies more insight into the product. Later, sales innovation director David German is the internal guest speaker at the commercial division's get-together, where we look at the figures. The Sun has had a brilliant year and is delivering record ad revenues, mainly driven by retail clients. Feeling cheerful, so attempt the Times crossword on my journey home to Highgate.
Attend an interesting presentation at the Futures Company, which tracks consumer trends. Learn that consumers are still less trusting, with 53% worried about the price of petrol and 43% planning to spend less over the next 12 months. The mood of uncertainty is in line with our research: things have improved since this time last year but we are not out of the woods yet. Have a short and alcohol-free lunch at Joe Allen with Evening Standard managing director Andrew Mullins - it is good to keep tabs on what the other newspapers are up to.
Start the day with our Town Hall meeting, where trading director Dominic Carter updates the commercial team on our office move to Thomas More Square, scheduled for August/September. Then it's a business briefing on TouchPoints, given by the IPA's Belinda Beeftink, David Fletcher from Mediaedge:cia and Stef Hrycyszyn from the COI. Interesting case studies, which motivate us to use TouchPoints in our sales pitches more often. Also pleased the business intelligence team wins two out of five of NI's monthly commercial awards. We are working hard to change our culture by rewarding good thinking.
Discuss the budget for 2010 and 2011 with the other commercial directors, including Paul Hayes, Neil Jones, Abba Newbery and Dominic Carter - it's going to be a tough call. But the highlight of the day is the first News International Commercial Awards, a black-tie party at an art-deco venue on Commercial Road called the Troxy. Sit next to Sunday Times editor John Witherow, who tells me what really happened in Davos - late-night networking and skiing - before staggering home at about midnight.
Grateful that bacon sandwiches are on offer at the Newspaper Marketing Agency's board meeting at the Guardian offices in Kings Cross. Discuss how we can amplify the NMA's profile and generate more positive PR with Linda Grant from Associated, David Emin from Trinity Mirror, Chris Pelekanou from the Guardian, Andrew Mullins from the Standard, Mathew Watkins from the Telegraph and Maureen Duffy, chief executive of the NMA. It is a productive meeting, and I come away feeling we are in a good place. Stop off for a quick after-work drink at the Ivy Club, where I often bump into a few familiar faces: Nigel Sharrocks and Steve Platt from Aegis, Claudine Collins from MediaCom and Julie France from JCDecaux Airport are regulars.
Sit down and read all the News International papers - always a pleasure, never a chore. On Sunday I take about 15 guests, including Mike Ironside from the NRS, Jackie Newcombe from IPC and Bob Wootton from ISBA, to see Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton at the O2. Bob Wootton is completely mesmerised - I think he hopes one day it will be him up on the stage. What a way to round off the week - it reminds me what a great industry I work in.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk