A Month of Celebration

It’s been a month to celebrate here at HRA Global, Nick Snowdon joined us from Prima Foods, and he brings a wealth of Food Technology and Operations experience to the team and like the rest of us, he has a love of food and drink coursing through his veins. He has moved ‘back home’ from Cardiff and we are getting used to his wry sense of humour. I haven’t managed to get him out for a lunchtime trail run yet, but I am working on it.

We’ve had the builders in downstairs all month and our photography and conferencing suite is now taking shape. Many of you have had the pleasure of hearing background ‘ambient noise’ from various drills and power tools whilst we have been on conference calls! Well, the work is all on schedule and not long now until the conferencing equipment is installed and we can offer crystal clear Dolby audio and video, which paired together with 108mbps fibre-optic broadband gives us the capability to virtually meet anyone, anywhere.

On a personal note, I have been investing more and more time in CPD as the years have gone on, particularly in FMCG Market Research. The culmination of this has been a cross-examination style ‘viva’ interview in front of a panel of Fellows from the Market Research Society a week ago. Good news – I passed the examination and now have Certified Market Research Society status, which I am really chuffed with. I am pushing on, the next stop is an MRS Fellowship… in about 7 years!

‘Less is more’ is one of the HRA mantra’s I have been sharing with Nick as part of his induction. One of the things we have always prided ourselves on is our ability to help clients tell a compelling strategic story. Unseen by anyone outside of the team I spend a disproportionate time crafting, scrapping, tweaking and reordering and generally obsessing over narrative arcs – whether it’s putting the final touches to a category sales presentation for a retailer, a project debrief to a team of clients or a talk for a conference.

I encourage the team to work to our ‘1:10 rule’ – so take the example of a debrief for a research presentation.  Our rule of thumb is that once we have all the facts, figures and content together and arranged and ordered onto a slide then for every minute of a final presentation you need 10 minutes to finesse the language, the order, the setup and the final resolution. Presenters want the story to compel the listener to hear, building the argument and the tension before resolving it and influencing the listener.

This is something that has served clients very well over the years – in an industry where new products, trends and brand create a constant wall of noise, being able to cut through with a specific, reasoned and an actionable argument is gold dust. Judging by the number of new listings our clients have bagged recently, this approach is going down very well with the trade as well.

Until next month


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