My Media Week: Ella Dolphin

Ella Dolphin: the group commercial director, Hearst Magazines UK
Ella Dolphin: the group commercial director, Hearst Magazines UK

We join Ella Dolphin, the group commercial director at Hearst Magazines UK  as she joins the Oompa Loompas at MediaCom’s Christmas bash, parties with Diageo at the Cosmopolitan Awards and closes the bumper March issues.


I start the day rushing the children off to school before jumping on the train to begin the daily emails and scanning of my newsfeeds.
Mondays are for getting organised and updating the business. My morning starts with a 10am stand up meeting with Jane Wolfson and the commercial team. We track our pipeline, our big partnership deals and significant developments across all of Hearst’s 19 magazine and digital brands, which include brands like Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar.
In the afternoon I meet with our chief executive, Anna Jones, Hearst’s director of editorial strategy and content, Louise Court, and a creative agency to discuss the 2016 positioning for our Hearst Empowering Women initiative. 


The day kicks off with a really productive meeting with Jude Secombe, the newly appointed publishing director of Hearst Made, Hearst’s content partnership division, and Dan Levitt, our head of commercial strategy, to discuss our commercial content strategy for next year. 2015 was all about the Asda content account win and we are all focused on further opportunities in this area.
I rush out of the office to attend the AWTE (Association of Women Travel Executives) lunch at the Marriot Grosvenor Square as a guest of Nick Wrightman, the owner of The Discerning Collection. It’s inspiring to be seated amongst fabulous women (and men!) in the travel industry raising money for charity and championing women throughout the industry; an issue very close to Hearst’s heart.
I’m only back in the office briefly before heading back out of the door to MediaCom’s glamorous Golden Ticket Christmas event where, upon arrival, I’m greeted by a magical Willy Wonka theme – Oompa Loompas and all.

The great and good of the industry’s media owners are all in attendance so I grab some precious time with Claudine Collins, Karen Blackett and Josh Krichefski over a cocktail. I don’t win the raffle but I get brownie points with my kids when I take home two Wonka bars. Thanks MediaCom!


A Hearst Luxury morning with Jacquie Euwe, publishing director of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country, and Jacqui Cave, publishing director of Elle and Elle Decoration. We talk about some exciting new developments to our brands for next year – all too new to be discussed at this stage but watch this space.

The weeks leading up to Christmas are all very busy for Hearst as we close our gigantic March issues before the break. 

My afternoon is taken up by lots of phone calls and emails with clients to finalise Q1 business, before I have a quick blow dry and get dressed up to head out to my favourite event of the year, The Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards at One Mayfair.

This is the first Cosmopolitan Awards under new editor, Farrah Storr. She looks fabulous as she takes to the stage to kick things off. 

The event, hosted by the equally gorgeous Fearne Cotton, is glamorous, inspiring and uplifting as we celebrate the achievements of some of the nation’s incredible women. There are too many inspiring women in the room to name them all, but I really enjoy partying with Diageo’s marketing director, Anna McDonald – Baileys sponsor the Awards and this is the second year we’ve worked with them. Their Flat White Martini, makes the perfect post-dinner cocktail.

Sarah Henessey and Kathleen Saxton both look absolutely stunning. One of the evening’s highlights is a conversation with Jess Glynne, the winner of Ultimate Solo Artist, about female role models. She’s certainly a shining example.

I leave a bit later than I should but the awards are a great night to mix with celebrities and clients. Dom Williams was there to support the Diageo sponsorship and Julian Linley enthused us all with the exciting plans for Digital Spy.


The talented Asda content team is visiting from Leeds, and we spend the morning having a really collaborative conversation about the content direction we are taking to amplify the Asda proposition. 

There’s lots of shared learnings as we discuss the consumer and how to maintain engagement. We are all really excited for the new look brand to be unveiled next year.

I leave the office to walk over to Dentsu Aegis with Than Khine, our new head of programmatic, to talk about plans for 2016, including how we evolve the trading model for publishing to maximise the growing audience reach. I’m really impressed with the forward thinking approach which makes me feel confident about 2016.


This morning I meet with Westfield’s head of fashion marketing, Harita Shah, along with the rest of the Westfield team, about an exciting collaboration for Hearst’s Beauty Unbound next year. 

Brand activations through Hearst Live, our experiential events division, is an even bigger focus for the business in 2016.

I end the day with a quick call to the fabulous Sue Todd, the chief executive of Magnetic, the marketing body for the magazine industry and we talk about the recent research that Magnetic has done which will hopefully show all the doubters the power and unique role that magazine media can play in reaching consumers.

I’m looking forward to the weekend, which will be a mixture of kid’s parties, grown-up parties, a 10k run and crashing on the sofa.

The Lowdown

Age: Old enough to know better
Favourite Media: Runners World and my Spotify playlist to match 
My biggest inspiration: My kids 
Dream job: Interior designer 
Not a lot of people know this about me: I believe in magic 

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