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Correspondent’s Week

This week by Andrew Hagger, head of news and press, Moneyfacts

While Bank Holidays are great in that you get the chance to chill out during an extended weekend, the following week always tends to be a bit of a nightmare when you have to cram five days of work into four.

So on the assumption that it is going to be a full-on week in the Moneyfacts press office, I arrive at my desk at 7.30am on Tuesday in an effort to get a headstart, bearing in mind that, as well as it being a shorter week – in days but probably not hours – Lisa, my ever trusty and reliable press officer, is on holiday in sunny Cyprus.

The first job of the week is to review the weekend’s papers to keep abreast with what is happening in the world of personal finance and, more important, to check up on the coverage we have received on the back of last week’s press releases and discussions with journalists.

It turns out to be another successful week, with 19 national press mentions, making a record-breaking 82 so far for August.

I manage to escape for a pint and a bite to eat with the new business reporter from the Eastern Daily Press, part of the Archant group, while we discuss how Moneyfacts can help him with the content for a new weekly personal finance pullout.

The rest of the afternoon is spent dealing with queries from journalists, still keen to know who has done what to their mortgage and savings rates since the base-rate move last month.

John Husband from the Daily Mirror calls and asks for some data highlighting the variance in cost of the dreaded payment protection insurance for personal loans. I duly oblige before setting off on my 45-minute drive home from Norwich to Lowestoft.

My mobile goes at about 8pm. It is Simon Read from the Sunday People, also looking for some comment on PPI for his column this week. All sorted within 15 minutes, including a dig about the early season form of his beloved Chelsea FC.

Wednesday at 9.30am, I hold a weekly review of our press and PR activity with the chief executive and key members of the management and product teams, just to run through what we achieved last week and our forthcoming plans.

Next on my to-do list is to knock out a 400 word savings round-up article for the Aberdeen Press and Journal. Unfortunately, what is normally a 40-minute job takes almost two hours as the phone has been ringing non-stop.

After lunch, I put the final touches to our press release on financing your new 56-reg car with a message to shop round as carefully for the finance as you do for the car.

I arrive home at 7pm and go out an hour later with my mate Paul for a five-mile run. We completed the London Marathon together about 18 months ago and have been trying to maintain some basic level of fitness ever since.

Thursday involves a series of discussions on interest rate movements following the base-rate rise. At 3.30pm I go to the BBC in Norwich to record a piece for Radio 4 Moneybox. The subject? Yep, you’ve guessed it, interest rate movements.

All the best-buy charts have been delivered safely to the press so it is time to work on some press releases for next week. I have just had an invite for a beer and curry after work on Friday, so things are looking up. Anyway, I am off on holiday myself now for a few weeks.

Yet I am still of the opinion that Bank Holidays are not worth it. Still, no need to worry about that until December – aaaargh.

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