Every so often, The Advertist’s The Hub will be interviewing leading lights in the world of British new business development, to give readers a back-channel viewpoint of the business and a whiff of the heady aroma of success.

This time around, Mr Henry Oliver steps into the limelight to share some of his observations, feelings and opinions in a segment we like to call Q10, because it’s a bunch of questions and there are ten of them. Take it away, Henry..

Name: Henry Oliver

Job title: Business Analyst at Lansons Public Relations and Communications

What inspires you to go to work every day?

The best thing about working in a new business role is the variety of projects you find yourself working on across a wide spectrum of industries. It’s really exciting to constantly be able to stretch yourself and better understand potential clients’ needs and what matters to their businesses.

What has been the most pleasant surprise you found once you started working at Lansons?

Lansons is an incredible company that is hugely supportive of its staff which in turn creates a wonderful culture to work within. I was surprised at just how accommodating the company was when it came to giving me fantastic opportunities to grow here. Initially, I started on reception and was given the chance to move up and gather new skills within the organisation at every stage of my five years here.

How does your ideal day at work go?

New business is a fast-paced role in any industry but when combined with the fast-paced industry of communications no day tends to be the same so it’s a tough question. However, ideally I like to start the day by reading up on what’s gone on in the financial markets and any regulatory updates from the morning. I then check the Advertist for any tenders, people moves and industry updates that are relevant.

A good day from then on would involve a nice mix of briefing meetings with prospective clients, helping pitch teams create proposals and ensuring the process as a whole for our staff runs as smoothly as possible.

What channels do you really love working in and why?

I’m a fan of the media as I think journalists are genuinely fascinating people who are highly informed and having the opportunity to interact with them on a regular basis is a great way to learn more about particular subjects.

This is not to say other channels aren’t interesting. We’ve rapidly grown our content marketing offering which has been a great learning experience. Direct advertising has always been interesting to me as well, particularly the planning stage.   

If you had one piece of advice to give someone thinking of getting into the world of new business, what would it be?

Asking subtle and thoughtful questions at the right time can be just as impressive to a prospective client as a massive deck with a load of creative pitch ideas in it.

What do you to do switch off from work?

I’m a big cricket fan and honestly sometimes feel that the only time I truly switch off is when I’m either playing or watching it. The number of variables that can happen with each ball and the strategic thinking that goes into the game is fascinating. I’ve always described it as the physical version of chess.

Who inspires you?

My background is in politics, in particular working for the Lib Dems, and Paddy Ashdown was a big inspiration of mine. He was incredibly charismatic both in person and in the media. He made Liberal politics a force to be reckoned with again and is sorely missed.  

You’ve got to take a brand new prospect to lunch anywhere in the UK. Where would you go and why?

If I could completely get away with it? Probably Little Nan’s Fitzrovia Kitchen & Bar. It’s a Pat Butcher themed restaurant/bar that is brilliant entertainment and the people that run it are very friendly.

On a more serious note, we’re lucky enough to have loads of nice restaurants near our office in Farringdon.

What has been your proudest moment so far working at Lansons?

We recently won an industry award for our strong ethical work within the agency which was inspirational to many staff and personally reinforced my views on why I’ve been at Lansons for so long.

Where do you want to be in ten years time?

Never been an ‘in XX years time’ type of person as have always taken things day by day. If I’m in a job with the variety I have now that would great. Suppose a dog would be nice too.

If you would like to be the subject of an intense grilling of these proportions and you think you can stand up to the scrutiny, then please let us know by emailing us and submitting your details. We’ll be in touch soon.

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