My Media Week: Henry Daglish

Henry Daglish: managing director at Arena Media
Henry Daglish: managing director at Arena Media

This week Henry Daglish, the managing director of Arena Media, pitches for and wins a new gambling client, celebrates Christmas with clients and media owners and still manages to make time for the family.

Somehow I seem to end up writing these diaries on weeks typically involving days of boozing (my last My Media Week was during Cannes). I honestly do much more than drink and entertain clients.

Anyway this week – key points:


Following a close family bereavement and as we approach Christmas, I have taken the decision to spend as much time with the family as I can. There are times when life is more important than work. So I've started getting into the office closer to 9.30 than the 8.00 or 8.30 that I'm used too – it's strangely cathartic.

We had a managing partner team meeting first thing. There's only two weeks left of the year, yet we still have four pitches to get through. At the last count Arena has pitched 22 times this year. It's been challenging and it's now just a case of keeping the energy for the final push (I still have to pinch myself when I think of the fact that we've won close to £45m of new business billings this year).

Post-meeting hours consist of drafting a thought piece for EGR Magazine (Electronic Gaming Review) – all part of our prospecting work in the pursuit of a new bookie.

The afternoon is spent judging the Havas Media Group (HMG) awards for our year-end ceremony in the 02 next week. Lots of amazing work from talented people (a nice haul from Arena Media teams – not that I'm competitive of course), and it's hard to believe these awards will be presented in front of 750 people who make up the employees of the group.


All the industrious work and effort of Monday quickly disappears as most of Tuesday is spent taking one of our new clients, The London Business School, on a Christmas lunch – bunch of lovely clients who are a pleasure to spend time with. Bump into Jenny Biggam in Tredwells – strange seeing her out at this time of year.

Return to the office for a meeting with our PR agency Pumpkin to discuss our plans for next year. 2016 is really shaping up to be a pivotal year to both build out Arena Media's profile and prepare the group for the big move into our brand spanking new offices in Kings Cross.


The day starts with a catch-up with Nick Wright (our creative director). Some strong thinking and work is starting to come out of the entertainment hub for EA. Work on Star Wars Battlefront has been awesome, but just the start.

Fascinating presentation from the insight team over lunch, who shared all they had discovered about how we can all make ourselves richer, smarter and happier. Love it when people do things like that off their own back.

Afternoon pitching for a new gambling start-up business that's looking for a scale-up plan. The meeting goes brilliantly. It's amazing to see how much market understanding and insight we have learnt from five years of working with Betfair.


Almost immediate turnaround on the gambling client pitch – we won!

Take the team out of a couple of beers at lunchtime.

Afternoon is spent hosting the media owners for Christmas drinks. It's always good to host them all for an informal drink at the end of the year. Although I'm not sure that many of them will actually remember it.


Feeling a little worse for wear following the week's exertions.

Got some fresh eyes on the Savills pitch – all looking good, it would be really nice to bag this one too ahead of the Christmas break.

Afternoon spent catching up with some of the best BLMers of all time – Nicola Harvey, Adam Hancox (yes Pippa Glucklich, he does programmatic stuff) and Claudia Howard. Equally lovely to see Abi Ward (our group business director) who's back for an afternoon less than two months after giving birth – she looks amazing.

Cycle home (probably shouldn't) – all ready for a night out with the dads from our school – will be messy. Christmas is a bloody nightmare...

Dear Media Week – if you want me to do a My Media Week again let's try doing it for a normal week of the year... Although I think it will actually be much less interesting.


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