Fortnotes – first fortnight

I’ve decided that weeknotes are too ambitious. I’m going to do fortnightly notes instead. Fortnotes. Let’s see how it goes.

A good first couple of weeks at W+K London. Getting stuck into some hard (but fun) work, plus a couple of Christmas parties.

I started on Wednesday 1st December, and my first day coincided with the fortnightly agency breakfast meeting. Bacon butty and a cup of tea (yay!) and a chance to show my face to everyone. Met a lot of friendly and welcoming people. Some time with Paul Colman (head of planning) and Andy Cameron (Interactive Creative Director) to get started. Paul and Dan H introduced me to Exciting Project #1 (I’ll call it THM for now), which is going to be brilliant. For the first few weeks, I’m aiming to dedicate most of my time that that project. I’ll also need to keep some time free for long-range stuff.

Having seen the office on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday both involved being snowed in at home, so I was staying in touch via telephone, email and Skype. (I do plan to spend some time working at home every so often, but I had not expected to be doing it quite so soon). Got a more detailed briefing about THM and wrote some social media principles and engagement guidelines to show the client how we intend to interact with people online.

Made some introductions.

Wrote a job spec for a ‘creative community manager’ role. Like a community manager, but emphasising the fact they have to be able to make great stuff as well as engage and interact with people around that stuff.

I got a quick briefing on exciting project #2, NT. Also started playing with Twitter streaming API (via tweetstream Ruby gem) to see what can be done (lots, easily). Also reviewing the dashboard they used for Old Spice with Dan H (it’s very good), working out how to go about hiring people and starting to set up a few meetings for next week.

Brainstorm for NT: Location, badges etc. Thinking about what’s possible with Facebook Places and Foursqare (et al) in a variety of countries. Hmm. Need to see some research.

Meeting (via the telephone) Renny Gleeson in Portland who heads up global interactive strategy. He’s super enthusiastic and amazing.

Lots and lots of time on exciting project #1 (THM), working with Dan H + spending some more time with Dan & Ray the creative directors on it and preparing for client briefing. My input is mainly around how we’ll find and respond to relevant things, principles, engagement guidelines and recruiting the right person. On Tuesday afternoon we showed it to Tony D, then on Wednesday a trip to Leeds to meet the client and flesh out the idea for them. (Oh, and a potential legal issue around THM, which means it might have to be renamed. Everyone struggling to think of a better name. We all like the one we’ve got).

Interviewed two people for the permanent creative community manager role.

Spent a couple of hours with the team brainstorming ideas for Nokia. Tony Davidson popped in to keep us on our toes and encouraging us to push ourselves. It worked.

Spent an hour on CTC project. Mainly finding out what the campaign will be doing and giving input to strategy for the outreach side. Already quite well developed.

Friday was a relatively quiet day, and over lunch I cobbled together a Twitter streaming API ingest script storing results in MySQL in realtime. Fiendishly simple stuff. Pairing with Dan is good too. He set up an Amazon EC2 instance and we spent a bit of the afternoon together getting a basic ingest dashboard prototype installed. A large chunk of Saturday debugging and getting it working properly, and then starting on a basic front end for it.

Agency Christmas party night and Planning team Christmas meal in the same week. and drinks. Both were amazing.

Surprised and delighted to be mentioned in Campaign magazine’s writeup of W+K being their agency of the year for 2010. Named among ‘some very astute hires’. Gosh.

The list of people I need to get to know in the next couple of weeks is quite long. Basically, everyone. I also need to prepare a short ‘meet Roo Reynolds’ session to introduce myself properly.

Being pretty good about keeping focused on THM. Maybe too good; still have not met Honda or Nike teams yet. Need to fix that.

New terminology: ‘above the line’. GAD = Group Account Director (pronounced ‘gad’).
Do say: ‘spot’.
Don’t say ‘TVC’ [television commercial] too frequently.