Meet Rachael Cleator, Communications Planning Manager at OMD UK

This week we caught up with Rachael Cleator, Communications Planning Manager at OMD UK to find out a bit more about her role at the agency and what she took away from her experience of our License to Switch programme.

Hi Rachael– thanks for taking the time to come and chat to us. Please can you explain a bit about your role and what you are responsible for?

No problem at all. It’s very exciting to have my very own post on the OMD UK Blog. I love a bit of fame!

I currently work as a Manager in the comms planning team on Hasbro and Bel – I get to play with a lot of toys and have developed an addiction to cheese. I manage and service clients across some exciting brands with Monopoly, Furby, Transformers and Mini Babybel to name a few. Utilising multiple industry tools to gain valuable insights and analyse audiences, I provide strategic direction and channel recommendations to develop optimised media campaigns which deliver against my clients business needs.

We heard you recently spent time with another team – how did this come about?

OMD UK are often launching initiatives for people across the agency to get involved in and Licence to Switch  was one that stood out to me. I first heard about it when an email came through and I was fast off the mark in applying for it as I thought it was a great opportunity to upskill myself and bring back my experience and learnings to the rest of my team.  I was perhaps a little bit too excited when the congratulations email came through saying I had been accepted onto the programme and would be spending time with the XMP team.

It was an amazing experience. The timing was perfect as I was able to work on live briefs for Bel and contribute to the great work that went in to responding to them.

What were the most important things you learned?

I actually learnt a lot – probably too much to be able to summarise here so I will talk about my top three:

  • I was able to see exactly where XMP fitted within the agency and as a comms planner it has been really valuable to understand when best to engage them within the planning process.
  • Establishing the optimal AV blend for clients by understanding the redistribution of frequency to increase reach. A useful and graphical way to highlight the importance of AV channels beyond linear TV!
  • The many routes and angles that can be taken to answer a client brief and that there are a wealth of systems at your fingertips that can help you (some of which I hadn’t used before!). Every brief is different and requires patience, rigour and often multiple attempts to get to the answer.

Do you think this is something that will help develop you in your media career?


It has added rigour to my planning and I can now use a variety of systems that help me build strong rationale which I can confidently sell in to my clients.

It also highlighted the importance of informative and detailed XMP briefs. As a comms planner I can ensure that I challenge my client’s briefs and obtain any relevant data that helps XMP to deliver the best response.

I plan to join XMP again for a couple of weeks in November to help out on briefs across the agency to learn even more.


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