Associate Director (Mat Cover) Jan 2018 start

The Team

Portland’s Research & Insights unit focuses on designing innovative research programmes and on uncovering insights that lead to better strategy and actionable ideas for our clients. We identify the right audience, the right channels and the right message to realise each client’s version of success. We work closely with our consultants across the globe to identify the insights that can inform compelling campaigns and communications strategies.


The Role

As an Associate Director you will oversee the Research and Insights department, ensuring the successful day to day running of the function. You will reinforce and further develop the importance of research within strategic communications and provide regular advice to the wider business on the research approaches that can support their client accounts. You will subsequently design and coordinate mixed methodology research projects, managing the wider team to deliver strategic and insightful direction to the team and client.


Responsibilities will include:

  • Provide ad-hoc advice to the wider team on how research can help them.
  • Design research approaches that will ensure that our strategies are insight-led, our content is tested before being launched and the impact of our work is measured and evaluated.
  • Conduct and oversee qualitative research including in depth interviews (essential), focus groups (essential) and online communities (nice to have) that meet the client’s needs.
  • Conduct and oversee quantitative research including basic polling and more advanced techniques such as regression analysis that meet the client’s needs.
  • Conduct and oversee secondary research
  • Input to proposals and attend pitches as and when required
  • Liaise with suppliers
  • Day to day management of the team, ensuring that work is distributed evenly and completed to agreed timelines and optimal standards
  • Line management of the team, ensuring that they are developing according to PDPs
  • Conduct pre-existing research training sessions when necessary

Skills & Competencies:

  • At least 5 years’ experience in research, covering a range of primary research methodologies including both qualitative and quantitative techniques with ideally some experience in secondary research methodologies
  • Experience within the communications sector with a deep knowledge of the research that can optimally support these client accounts
  • A strategic thinker with innate curiosity and an ability to identify the insight from the findings, and a focus on storytelling outputs
  • A pragmatic and flexible approach to research with a desire to find innovative solutions to our client’s objectives
  • An ability to work in a fast paced environment and juggle a number of competing demands by prioritizing effectively and managing the workload of junior staff
  • A confident, professional and authoritative manner

Due to the high volume of applications we receive it is unfortunately not possible to respond directly to all applicants, only to those whose candidacy is being pursued. In addition, the length of the recruitment process varies based on the vacancy needs. Traditionally, the process takes approximately 2-4 weeks. Therefore, your patience is greatly appreciated.

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