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Nationwide’s Eden Black wakes up to Wheels on the Bus and then motors through a busy day

29th May 2013


My day

7.00am: Since becoming a dad I don’t need an alarm clock, as I’m routinely woken by my two-year-old son excitedly singing The Wheels on the Bus at an otherwise antisocial level. That starts the day with an immediate smile and then it’s into the shower before ploughing through my BlackBerry to catch-up on the day’s cuttings – if only they made phones waterproof I’d shave a good 15 minutes off my morning! Dressed and prepped for work, it’s on with Radio 4 for a snippet from The Today programme as I ravenously munch through my toast and gulp my tea. And then I’m off, but not before waving goodbye to my wonderful family as I head into the office.

8.45am: I’m scouring the papers and wires for the day’s news, looking for that all-important proactive opportunity and any potential issues. And then I see it – a piece on graduates within the financial services sector in the FT. We do well in this area, so I set to work on pitching a quick letter. Will it make it? Fingers crossed, but that’s for tomorrow.

9.30am: The team meeting gives us a chance to update each other on activity or share advice and insight. Although our week is dominated by the upcoming annual results announcement, there is plenty of work bubbling in the background. I give some top-lines on immediate work I’m leading on – a creative press release on recruitment and a feature on the legal department, promoting Nationwide as a great place to work. Immediately I am offered support and ideas by the team; they’re good like that. We have a fantastic culture and everyone is willing to chip in.

10.30am: Coffee in hand, I’m back at my desk and in the time since passed, a smattering of Google Alerts have appeared on my screen on the topic of customer service. I see Nationwide is mentioned as a top performer and I send it around the business. We’re busy preparing for annual results, which, for a financial services organisation, is perhaps the biggest day in the calendar. I get to work compiling media lists and squaring up our messaging for announcement day. Things may well change, but it’s best to keep ahead of the curve. It’s a real team effort as we pull together the plans.

1.00pm: I meet a contact for lunch. Good to catch up, although not for long as I’ve a conference call in an hour. Still, a lot can be said in the 45 minutes as we cover off the essentials.

2.00pm: Our external agency calls and we discuss a proactive idea on which we’re working. We go through the nuts and bolts of the messaging and discuss next steps. I arrange to meet them to further our already good relationship.

3.00pm: I attend a workshop session with the HR team to go through Nationwide’s employment narrative. We’re doing so much work in this area and it is good to sit down with these people on a regular basis to determine how the media relations team can add value as a business partner.

4.00pm: I head off to our new offices in Threadneedle Street to ensure everything is in order for the annual results presentation. I map out the plan for the day and relay back to the team. While I’m there I also test the phone connections and facilities for the wires call – as expected, everything works brilliantly.

6.00pm: Finishing work I think I’ll head to the gym but after an hour on the Tube I feel like I’ve had a workout already! I decide on skipping the gym and see my family instead. There’s always tomorrow …



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