My Media Week: Rachel Bristow, Sky Media

Rachel Bristow, director of partnerships at Sky Media, joins the rest of Sky's leadership team at a people-focused away day and - with her WACL dinner secretary hat on - prepares to welcome mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.


My working week always begins with a sales meeting. This gets me back up to speed with what lies ahead during the upcoming week and beyond.

With the big picture agreed, it’s on to a series of catch-ups with my team.

As a member of Women in Advertising and Communications, London (WACL), I often have the opportunity to engage with a variety of leaders and important figures from both inside and outside the industry.

As WACL’s dinner secretary, I have the rather daunting but exciting task of planning and arranging a dinner at the Savoy, where the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will be joining us. The week before is always a little hectic with table and guest planning.

In the afternoon, I meet with Jason Hughes, my head of creative solutions to review all the briefs that we currently have running. Together, we ensure that all the proactive ones have been presented to clients through our Client Partnership Team for British Airways, EA Fifa, Barclaycard and Nintendo.    

Back home, I wait until my daughter is asleep to enjoy my latest fad – "Fit in 5" with Kirsty Gallagher on the Sky platform. Most nights I try to squeeze in 15 minutes of exercise to undo all the treats I have eaten.


The days of early morning fitness regimes are long gone. The beginning of the day has now been taken up with getting my daughter ready for school while practicing her reading over breakfast.

Tuesday is the first of two days that Sky’s leadership team spends away at a space in Euston.

The first day is focused on people, structures, priorities and culture, now that teams are basing themselves across our two offices (Osterley and Victoria) through the week. There is a big focus on how flexible working is going and whether we are allowing teams to fully optimise the opportunity.

The next part of the day sees an insightful session on women in leadership which ascertains how the recent team survey will help us shape our plans.

The official programme has been running across the whole Sky family for nearly two years and we have made great progress so far in getting more women in to leadership positions, rising from 31% to 38%.

The lively discussions continue into the evening at The Caravan. It is the first time I’ve tried the Granary Square restaurant and it is fair to say my commitment to dry January is challenged considerably. Roll on February, I say.

"Fit in 5" once again saves me from any pudding I may have consumed.


Wednesday, still in Euston, is dedicated to reviewing strategy for 2017/18 and how we are progressing against our mission of being Partner of Choice.

We pride ourselves on being the leader in redefining the concept of hyper-targeted TV advertising and we’ve got an exciting year ahead. We’ll be making some key announcements in due course, so watch this space.

Since launching Sky AdVance in late 2015 we’ve been able to deliver multi-platform campaigns for advertisers and as we look forward we are excited by how we will leverage our cross platform capabilities even further to drive effectiveness. 

The afternoon turns back to people and looking at succession planning and ensuring that we attract the best talent.


Back wearing my WACL hat, I finalise the plans for Sadiq Khan’s dinner appearance. 

When we moved Sky Media closer to the rest of the Sky family in Osterley, it was, in large part, due to knowing we could benefit from being closer to those who make the Sky brand what it is today – the programme-makers, the journalists, the presenters and the great talent.

Collaboration has always been key for all our projects. And this isn’t just internally. It’s always been strong across TV in general, which in turn has ensured the success of Thinkbox.

During the afternoon, I attend a workshop with ITV’s Simon Daglish and Channel 4’s Matt Salmon to discuss this further. Over the coming year we will be working even more closely together to highlight the continued fantastic brand building capability and trusted environment of television.


Matthew Platts president of Amplifi is with us all day as part of a charity donation for University College London Hospital. 

We have not let him off lightly, however, drilling him on his opinion of our product set and communication. Matthew gives us some valuable feedback that will help us shape our advertiser and agency plans. Later on in the day he shares some career advice with a small group of colleagues.

We squeeze in a lunch near Kew Gardens, so it’s not all hard work and a thoroughly pleasant end to the week.

With a sigh of relief it’s the weekend, which is full of my daughter’s play dates and birthday parties.

The lowdown

Age: 44
Favourite media: SkyGo (I am biased)
My biggest inspiration: My parents. They have a great value set.
Dream job: Travel Guide.
Not a lot of people know this about me... I have a long running competition with one of my friends on how many countries we have each visited. She’s currently beating me.

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