Portland Profile: Adam Hall

Portland Profile: Adam Hall

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career so far?

It might sound really cliché and a bit like something you might hear on the BBC tv-show W1A, but a phrase used by a colleague after a tricky client meeting really resonated with me – ‘people buy people’. At times in my career, I’ve agonised about not understanding complex policy or scientific detail. At times, it has stopped me from contributing or giving advice to clients as I didn’t feel like an expert. Once I realised that building relationships and being invited to work alongside your client was more important, my perspective on things changed considerably!

What is your favourite part about your role?

I am really drawn to the strategic part of our work far more than the tactical! I enjoy working with clients to wrestle with complex, contested problems in the health & life-science space, particularly if they are high profile and something that my family and friends will likely have heard on the news!

What has been your favourite experience at Portland so far?

In recent years I have had the opportunity to work with clients on a variety of challenges that have been particularly rewarding – from launching the world’s first CRISPR gene-editing treatment, to developing an above brand creative campaign platform for a global pharmaceutical company working to communicate its global sustainability efforts in a new way.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self-starting out in comms, or to someone entering this field of work?

Cc-ing the wrong person into an email and hitting send felt like end of the world when I did it months into my time at Portland as an intern. I wanted the ground to swallow me up! But, more often than not, little mistakes like that really aren’t that bad! You most certainly aren’t the first and won’t be the last. Just make sure you don’t do it again…

What do you do to switch off from work?

Most of the time I am changing nappies or chasing after one of my three little girls! When I do get the chance to leave the house, I try and get out to play a round of golf or a game of 5-aside football. I also commit far too much spare time watching Newcastle United struggle to win its first trophy in more than 50 years!

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