My Media Week: Katherine Knapp

Katherine Knapp: head of promotions at Absolute Radio
Katherine Knapp: head of promotions at Absolute Radio

This week Katherine Knapp, head of promotions at Absolute Radio, preps for the World Digital Media Broadcasting General Assembly in Germany, gets control of the remote and builds up to one of her most significant radio promotions yet.


With the Radio Festival, a digital media conference in Leipzig, Germany, and meetings with Sony, Mindshare and Sky in the diary it’s going to be a very busy week.

A rainy start to the day means I’m definitely not cycling into work today. I grab the Metro at the Underground before moving on to my Kindle. I’m currently reading 'The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared' by Jonas Jonasson.

Monday mornings are all about revenue forecasting, starting with a 9am sales team meeting where we take a look at where we are and where we need to be, this is followed by a senior management team meeting, to agree revenue predictions.

Later in the morning, I’m on a quick conference call with the organisers of Leipzig’s World Digital Media Broadcasting General Assembly. They’ve asked me to showcase examples of branded content in radio to help retailers market more creatively. I’m presenting to an audience of global broadcasters, network operators, marketing organisations and manufacturers.

I regularly check Media Week, Marketing Week, Campaign and Media Guardian to get a sense of what's happening in the market.

Lunch is with Absolute Radio marketing director Clare Baker and Fiona Wilson who manages the station’s scheduling. We head to Mash around the corner from our Golden Square offices and gorge on the best burger I think I’ve ever tasted.

This week some of the Absolute Radio team is in Salford for the Radio Festival so I put together some branded content case studies for Absolute Radio’s chief operating officer Clive Dickens who is chairing this year’s festival.

After work I lace-up my ice skates at Somerset House with some friends. Unbelievably, I manage to avoid breaking any bones and eventually persuade them off the ice and into Tom’s Skate Lounge for mulled wine – much more civilised.


I arrive at work looking like a drowned rat after cycling in from West London but convince myself it will all be worth it when I hit the beach in South Africa in the summer.

First up it’s breakfast at Kopapa in Seven Dials with Jeremy Way, sponsorship director of inventions at Mindshare, followed by a briefing at Mindshare’s offices with David Josephs and Tracy Roberts on a new car launch next year.

One of our most exciting pieces of branded content this year has been a collaboration with Orange to find the Absolute Radio Apprentice. Across the past six weeks the search has clocked up 35,000 unique views, 650 applications, 250 long-listed candidates, 11 interviews and we’ve just chosen our winner – a very talented young man called Paul Culliver.

In the afternoon we head to Sony’s head offices in Weybridge to meet Lee Anne Crossley who is campaign activation manager to catch-up about the exciting new products we can expect to see next year.

I get a call late afternoon from Bob Suppiah, director of promotions and partnership marketing at BSkyB to see if we can help with a last-minute Sky Movies push. Bob is a dream client; he loves to push the boundaries and his product is a brilliant fit for our core audience of 25- to 44-year-olds.

Sky is the sponsor of our Rock N Roll Football show and in the past we’ve undertaken various outside broadcasts, taking locations as diverse as New York to Lapland and even Surrey.

My boyfriend Arno is away so while I have control of the remote control, I catch up on the finale of 'Dallas' and notice on Twitter that Clive [Dickens] has been made a Fellow of the Radio Academy, the highest honour the Academy can bestow upon anyone. Congratulations Clive.


As soon as I arrive in the office I’m handed a last minute brief for a week-long promotion for the cinema release of ‘Silver Lining’ on Christian O’Connell’s breakfast show.

After an impromptu brainstorm with the team the idea is back with the client and approved for broadcast on air next week.

We enjoy a reputation as one of the UK’s most innovative media owners thanks in part to the fact that our key talent contribute creatively throughout the process. Christian O’Connell and Geoff Lloyd always put their own mark on a promotion, which gives us a huge advantage over our competitors.

The day ends with a catch-up with Absolute Radio’s chief executive Donnach O’Driscoll to discuss revenue and promotions performance as well as a few tips ahead of Friday’s presentation – his enthusiasm for the radio business is infectious.

We get Stylist and Shortlist delivered to work so I’ll often grab a copy on the way out. I’m a big fan of Stylist in particular, otherwise I’ll pass the time on any one of the apps on my phone - BBC News, Spotify, Sky Go and of course the Absolute Radio listen app are all current faves.

The night ends with my boyfriend’s return from a week away and a freezer box full of fresh mussels and sea bass. He rustles up a home-cooked feast while I watch ‘Grand Designs’.


Heading to Heathrow for the conference I receive confirmation that we have sign-off on the most significant promotions we’ve ever produced in a single client campaign. It’s a campaign worth more than £300,000 but I’m afraid it’s under wraps for the time being.

The idea was borne over a glass of wine with the client in our backstage VIP area at BT London Live in Hyde Park as Johnny Vaughan delivered our Olympic coverage.

After what feels like a scene from ‘Trains, Planes and Automobiles’ I arrive at WorldDMB General Assembly. The aim of the conference is to allow the digital radio community to share experiences and showcase continued growth for digital radio internationally.

I discuss how broadcasters in the UK are working with retailers to create a buzz about digital radio and how they can use the medium to creatively engage with the consumer. I’ve got plenty of case studies to draw upon including some recent DAB radio giveaways we’ve executed outside our Golden Square studios.

Colin Crawford, director of marketing at Pure, is a great support and is sporting a very impressive YMCA handlebar moustache for Movember and so doesn't look too out of place amongst a sea of extravagant German facial hair.

Also great to see chief executive of Digital Radio UK Ford Ennals who is doing a great job of championing digital radio in the UK.


Today it’s time for a much needed day off. Arno joins me in Berlin for as much sightseeing as we can cram in to 48-hours. Now, where are those beer halls I’ve heard so much about?

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