Inside Story: So, what exactly do you do all day?

Who works hardest in the media? Ed Caesar skips lunch to delve into the diaries of those working in TV, radio, press, PR, internet, magazines, marketing and advertising


Matt Reid

Matt Reid

Series producer: The Queen's Castle

MONDAY: 9am - Arrive on set. Work on programme three all day, which the commissioning editor is chasing.

6pm - Commissioning editor calls for the latest cut of programme three, but we have to tell him we have not finished it. He's very understanding. The title sequence, which cost a lot of money, needs changing too.

8pm - Go home. It feels like I'm skiving.

TUESDAY: 9am - Arrive on set. Programme three still hasn't been signed off by the BBC, and we have to get a new editor in as the original editor has to start another job. Find the editor of programme two, who does a superb job.

6pm - To the off-licence to prepare for our nightly scriptwriting session.

11pm - Go home.

WEDNESDAY: 9am - Programme two is being on-lined. We're still editing programme three while it is simultaneously being conformed and there's still work to be done on programme one.

11am - Buckingham Palace press office calls - they want to see a preview of one of the films. The Queen and her staff will be down there. A contact at the castle tells me we will need a BFS (big fucking screen).

6pm - Off-licence.

1am - Finish three bottles of red wine with the writer on the final script session.

THURSDAY: 9am - Get to the set to find the composer very depressed about how much he has to do in the next 24 hours. He's already been working all night.

1pm - Sneak out for a lunchtime pint.

2pm - Programme three still needs work. I address it on and off for the next nine hours.

11pm - Go home.

FRIDAY: 8am - Do the commentary record with our "voice", Barbara Flynn, who turns out to be superb. She and I work a long day, delivering two weighty scripts.

11pm - Go home.

SATURDAY: 10am - Do final two mixes, and we're done. Two bottles of champagne.

SUNDAY: Watch television and sleep.

Angharad Law

Producer on Radio 4 Woman's Hour

MONDAY: 10am - Morning meeting to discuss Wednesday's programme. We still have a hole for the lead, so we discuss who best to fill it with.

2pm - Afternoon meetings discussing proposed job cuts at the BBC.

5pm - Head home or to the local pub.

TUESDAY: 10am - Think about tomorrow's programme. It looks good - all the segments are in place. The morning is spent speaking to contributors and then writing up briefing notes for tomorrow's presenter, Jenni Murray.

1pm - Quick lunch and then listen to various features to find one that will fit tomorrow's programme, and write a trail to give to Radio 4.

6pm - Chat to editor to make sure all is in place, then off to a free film screening.

WEDNESDAY: 7am - In the office. Always in early on programme day. Switch on Today programme and flick through papers to check there isn't a news story we need to put in today's programme. There isn't.

8am - Jenni arrives, and we go through the programme. She reads through the script.

9am - Talk to other producers about their items. Go down to the studio, run through tapes and inserts with studio managers.

9.45am - Jenni arrives in the studio. We might have to change running order as one of the interviewees is running late.

10am - Programme on air. Interviewee arrives. Everything runs smoothly.

11am - Post mortem.

1pm - Grab a sandwich at my desk, and phone possible authors for next week's show.

4pm - Head home.

THURSDAY: 10am - Arrive and spend morning setting up a Good Friday discussion about the rise of Protestantism. By the end of the day I have only booked one guest.

1pm - After lunch deal with feature ideas from freelances.

FRIDAY: 10am - Nothing pressing for Monday, so I edit a backlog of features.

6pm - Home for the weekend.

Rebecca Cockman

Director, Tamesis Business Communications

MONDAY: 8am - At desk. A member of my team has tonsillitis. Have to send her home. Two big meetings in the morning.

1pm - Lunch on the run. Set up for another big meeting in the afternoon.

2pm - Afternoon spent interviewing recruits.

TUESDAY: 8.30am - At desk. Need to de-brief clients on their attendance at annual trade fair held at Cannes the previous week.

1pm - Lunch with major client and key trade journalist.

6pm - Attend evening reception for work.

WEDNESDAY: 7.40am - Arrive in the office having not slept well - stressed all day as a result.

9am - Two meetings in the morning - it looks like it's going to be a fairly light day.

1pm - Lunch at desk. Get a lead on some new business.

2pm - Deal with Budget responses from clients all afternoon, which are sent out to national and trade publications.

6.30pm - Take some reading home (about one hour). Never time to do this at work.

THURSDAY: 8am - In the office. Set up meeting in City with heads of regional offices for a major client. Morning spent dashing between the City and the West End. Another member of my team has tonsillitis.

1pm - Lunch at desk.

2pm - Meeting which lasts majority of afternoon.

7.30pm - Drinks and dinner with a journalist.

FRIDAY: 8.30am - One team member is still ill, and another has gone on holiday. There is far too much urgent work to do in the morning, and I have to do some vital admin.

1pm - Lunch with client cancelled. Relieved to spend time at desk.

2pm - Prepare reports on activity for all our clients, and prepare work for Monday meetings. Have to be at three meetings in the afternoon, so delegate to others, who need a lot of pre-briefing.

7pm - Leave office.

WEEKEND - Take some background reading home, and do about an hour and a half's work on Sunday.

Ricardo Caballo

Senior web designer, Spring Digital

MONDAY: 9.30am - Start out working on amending various projects in the IT lab.

3pm - Lunch. As I'm a Spaniard, I often eat late.

3.30pm - Continue checking how the amends on the IT systems are going, and implementing approved areas of the work.

6pm - Home.

TUESDAY: 9am - I start the construction of a website for a human resources support company.

2pm - Lunch.

3pm - Decide to use some of the studio technology to ameliorate working conditions in the office. We now listen to good internet radio stations rather than the British radio stations that repeat their music all the time.

6.30pm - Finish work a little later than normal because I was enjoying working on the radio project, but now I will have to do some overtime to finish the HR project.

7.30pm - Spend a few hours working on subsidiary web design projects that I have had on the back burner for a while.

WEDNESDAY: 9.30am - Get to work straightaway on the HR website.

12pm - Tinker with several other projects.

1pm - Lunch.

2pm - Having real difficulties with Internet Explorer. It's the most used browser but the worst on which to make things look good. Most of my afternoon is spent doing tricks to improve the appearance of our websites.

6.45pm - Leave work and go home to work until midnight on personal design projects.

THURSDAY: 9am - The HR project is shaping up, although I seem to have spent most of the week doing it already.

2pm - Take my lunch to Regent's Park.

11.30pm - Finish first part of the HR project.

FRIDAY: 10am - Add finishing touches to my big project, but generally have a relaxed day because I worked late last night.

2pm - Finish my brief for the HR support company, although we normally get some requests for additional functionality.

6pm - Spend a few hours having a drink with some colleagues after work.

WEEKEND - A lot achieved this week so just work on some personal design projects.

Nicola Elliot

Associate editor, Glamour magazine

MONDAY: 10am - Arrive in the office and check emails for the first half hour. Then sift through press releases, offers for celebrity interviews and other admin. This is going to be a busy week - we're finishing off our 50th issue of Glamour. Our past cover girls are donating presents to give away; Hilary Swank sends over a Calvin Klein bag and Cate Blanchett's earrings arrive.

2pm - Afternoon is spent checking proofs; the subs are on our backs.

TUESDAY: 10am - Morning meeting with my editor and a PR from Jimmy Choo. We're teaming up with the Elton John Aids Foundation to create a coffee table book of female celebrities wearing nothing but Jimmy Choos and Cartier jewellery.

3pm - Spend afternoon on the phone working out logistics for main male interview for June issue.

WEDNESDAY: 10am - Read cuts from papers.

11am - Pictures and the story come in off a shoot we did in LA yesterday. Next three hours editing.

2pm - Lunch with a PR from Freud's. We agree to use some shots of Nicole Kidman.

4pm - Afternoon is spent writing briefs, as we need to get questions together for June interviews.

THURSDAY: 10am - Attend a Woman of the Year meeting with our publisher and the entertainment team. We're trying to collate all the shoots and work out the logistics of flying celebrities in from LA.

1pm - Lunch with deputy editor to come up with features ideas for afternoon meeting.

2pm - Nearly three hours spent at afternoon meeting brainstorming.

FRIDAY: 10am - Not in the office: I work a four-day week as I am setting up my own business called Natural Magic, which make candles. The morning is spent sending out product and dealing with potential buyers.

8pm - Dinner out to wind down the week.

WEEKEND - Relax and recharge.

Ben Jackson

Features editor, The Sun

MONDAY: 8.30am - Read the papers. Today's the busiest day of the week and I read all the tabloids before I arrive.

9.30am - Make calls to reporters.

10am: Prepare ideas list for conference as is done every day.

11am - Daily conference with the editor.

11:30am - I hold a weekly writers' meeting to generate ideas.

12:30pm - Plot. Another conference with the editor to plan the shape of the paper.

1pm - Brief the writers and photographers. Today we launch Eurovision Thong Contest.

2:30pm - Lunch at my desk.

4pm - Discover that Tony Christie is about to hit No 1. We crash a spread on his new video into the paper.

6pm - Last copy over to subs.

6:30pm - Prepare the overnights.

8:15pm - One last chance to check proofs. Late for meeting with tipster as usual.

TUESDAY: 8.45am - Papers. Abortion shaping as big issue of the day.

12pm - We track down Tony Christie in Halifax.

3pm - Meet The Sun's TV mag editor.

6.12pm - Last copy filed.

6.30pm - Sun execs and nominees head off to awards.

1.30am - Home.

WEDNESDAY: 9am - Budget preparation.

4pm - Co-ordinate copy - including Budget analysis and awards piece.

4.30pm - Meet publisher of Virgin books.

6pm - Ring LA correspondents to discuss Jacko trial developments.

9.01pm - Head home leaving Budget team working on Scottish case studies.

THURSDAY: 8.30am - Papers.

3.30pm - Meeting with Sky promotions.

6.20pm - All copy over. Prepare overnights.

7pm - Early cut.

FRIDAY: 8.30am - Papers.

10am - Prepare expanded feature list. Saturdays are always bigger papers.

6.50pm - Final copy over.

8pm - Head out for PA's leaving do.

WEEKEND - In office all Sunday, generally conducting a full working day until 7.30pm.

Graham Lang

Creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi

MONDAY: 9.30am - Make sure teams have de-briefed from Toyota presentations on Friday.

10.30am - Catch up with account team on massive Ariel meeting. Mood is jittery.

10.45am - See work on Ariel. I'm jittery.

11.30 - Sit with Joel, my creative partner, and go through NSPCC work from Sunday.

12.30pm - Gather work on Toyota and make ready for client.

1pm - De-stress with PlayStation football.

2pm - Go for furious work-out at gym.

3-5pm - NSPCC - search for idea continues.

5-6pm - Have battles on Ariel, and cancel ticket to Brussels to meet client.

7-8pm - NSPCC.

TUESDAY: 8.45am - Start writing up scripts on Ariel with Joel.

10.30am - Review the other teams on Ariel. Lots of ideas are starting to take shape.

11.00am - Client approves Toyota campaigns.

12pm - Take account team through where we are on scripts. They remain nervous.

12.30pm - Have an argument with Joel over NSPCC. He wants to spend more time on brief.

1-2pm - Gym

3-5pm - NSPCC concepts brainstorming.

6-7pm - Review with Kate Stanners (executive creative director) on Ariel.

8pm Destroyed playing PlayStation football again.

WEDNESDAY: 9am - I'm late for work and need to get ready for my presentation.

10am-1pm I manage to get the three ideas I need for the presentation ready. Happy.

2-6pm - Talking to teams trying to refine the details on campaign ideas.

THURSDAY: 8.30am - Train from Waterloo with MD, ECD, planner and suit.

10am Present ideas

12pm Good meeting. Client wants to progress to research stage.

1pm Lunch out with a client.

2-8pm Joel and I are called in on Lexus at last moment to come up with an idea.

FRIDAY - Spend the weekend in Paris with my wife.

Claire Eastman

Account manager, Swordfish Marketing

MONDAY: 9.30am - Take it in turns to highlight our biggest achievement of the previous week.

11am - Creative briefing for book title - brief to come up with a concept that can be taken across different media.

12pm - Internal meeting with new recruits.

2pm - Objectives setting meeting.

3.30pm - Write a brief for the designer looking at developing Easter mailing.

5pm - Brainstorm in communal bar.

7pm - Home.

TUESDAY: 9am - Internal meeting to determine who's doing what.

9.30am - Brainstorm - we need to come up with a list of possible promotional partners for our client's scheduled film releases later this year.

2pm - Meeting with a supplier of travel prizes.

3pm - Prepare for meeting next week with new contact at BBC Worldwide.

4.30pm - Negotiate with printers for prices on an urgent release for another client, VOCA.

7pm - Prices arrive. Time to head home.

WEDNESDAY: 9.30am - Present VOCA printing costs to group account director.

10.30am - Another printer arrives and can deliver the pack within budget.

11.15am - Brainstorm with Clear Channel.

2pm - Meeting with Reebok.

3.15pm - Look at results from our email campaign to promote BBC fashion magazine.

5.30pm - Catch up on invoicing.

THURSDAY: 8.30am - Meeting preparation for meeting and lunch with BBC magazines.

3pm - Format ideas for BBC book.

5.30pm - Write press release and source couple of images.

FRIDAY: 9.30am - Write brief for BBC book title.

11am - Revise timing plan for the Easter mailing. Send to client.

2pm - Adshel brainstorm.

3.30pm - Budget for Easter mailing.

WEEKEND - Have to write account exec's performance objectives.

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