FEATURE1 July 2009

If there’s one thing I've learnt... Mark Long


The best advice I got was… “Go to Highbury not White Hart Lane, son.” Thanks Dad. On a more serious note, I was told by a researcher whom I respected to give agencyside life a try, and I’ve never regretted it.

The worst advice I got was… “This new technology company’s stocks are only going one way.”

You know you’re doing well when… people that you respect seek out and act on your views.

Don’t overestimate… that just because you have been working on this business issue for the last week, month or year does not mean everyone else in the audience is well versed in it.

Don’t underestimate… the impact and importance of the final language in a report or presentation. These documents live on when the presentation is over and they need to resonate from the page. This is relevant both agency- and clientside – how will your client act on your recommendations if they can’t hear your analysis? Be clear about what you are advising and remember it’s your analysis they’re paying for, not the pretty charts.

If I hadn’t been a researcher… I would have been a bass player in a massively successful but cool indie/pop band. Probably.

One moment in my career I’ll never forget is… hearing that my first research proposal had been successful – and it continues to be a great feeling every time. This teaches you to treat every proposal as if it were your first – give as much attention to each job as you can, regardless of the fee.

You must read… Fighter Boys by Patrick Bishop, an inspiring collection of recollections from young pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain in 1940.

If this industry could only… promote itself more effectively, both in terms of employment opportunities and the positive impact our work has on all sectors of the economy.

One day I hope to… be able to say that I helped the BDRC Continental group achieve its full potential.

My career… is only half way there.