Skip to: Navigation | Content | Footer

MY PUBLISHING LIFE

My Publishing Life – Adrian Hughes

Adrian Hughes, group managing director of Marketforce, answers our questions about his life in publishing.

Adrian Hughes

Posted on: 16 June 2017

 

Q: How did you get where you are today?

A: I’ve always enjoyed the industry that we work in, from the day I started work at a Birmingham wholesale depot for what was then WHSmith Wholesale. After a couple of years working with newspapers, I moved to the publisher DC Thomson spending six years mainly on the road selling magazines to multiple and independent retailers. It was a great role for developing confidence and being able to listen well and understand the retail world.

I then moved role and location, heading to London and to Marketforce. From a career perspective, this is where I started to develop and I was able to take roles in retail, and then move to circulation director roles within IPC and our third-party business. Along the way, I kept a keen interest in learning through my 30s and was able to take a Spanish business diploma after working with the Hello circulation team along with qualifying as a teacher, as well as taking opportunities to study at Ashridge Business College.

When I look back, I think what has enabled me to take a leading role is down to three things: a hard work ethic, a bit of luck at times and having had good bosses that encouraged and allowed me to move roles and experience new challenges; that has been key to picking up those all-important transferrable skills that I needed to progress and run a business.

Q: What is your typical media day?

A: One of the great things about working with many different publishers is that there is rarely a regular day. I tend to be up early and either in work ahead of the teams or meeting clients or suppliers for breakfast. Days are generally full catching up with the team or clients. We have an agile working environment in our business locations, so we don’t have personal offices or fixed desks and that has been great in helping communication across the business and our senior team.

Q: What is the secret to a happy working life?

A: From a personal perspective, it’s challenging to work in an industry that is volatile and complex whilst having the challenge of both print and digital. Getting the balance right between home and work life is important; but probably more so is laughing and enjoying those small things that improve or develop your business or team. I’ve been lucky to always enjoy whatever job I’ve done.

Q: How do you see the sector evolving?

A: In consumer magazines, that volatility and complexity that the sector faces at a high level is well documented and there are challenges to retaining profitability on the newsstand. However, one of the great aspects of my role is that I work with many different publishers, both large and small, and I find tremendous positives in the way businesses are developing new products and ways of generating more revenue through using good insight. The business model will change, based on serving consumers’ passions in new ways, from the basic principle of great content at the right price, to additional products and services.

Q: Who has particularly influenced you?

A: I think that when you look back at the people who influenced you, there are always a number of people that stand out. As I said earlier, I’ve been lucky enough to have good bosses who have both inspired me and allowed me to grow; all of them have influenced me over my career.

Q: What advice would you give someone starting out?

A: It’s difficult to give general advice, but I learned very quickly that making a positive difference was key to getting noticed in any organisation; listening, understanding and talking to people and taking time to think how you can improve businesses is important. As I developed, I focused on: Financial & Commercial Skills, Strategy Skills, Leadership Skills and Personal Impact. I believe those four elements are a good base upon which to build any career.

Q: How do you relax outside work?

A: I tend to run a lot, a bit like Forrest Gump, and I also spend a lot of time mountain biking thinking that I’ll somehow develop championship ability… the reality is that I’m a middle-aged bloke that likes to get outdoors and see a bit of the countryside. It’s relaxing to be in the Surrey Hills and it feels like a million miles from the busy world of Canary Wharf.

Q: In an alternate life, what would you have done?

A: My other passion in life is motor racing; I frequently bore my colleagues with trivia from Formula One. The engineering aspects fascinate me along with the commercial world, so I’d choose racing driver, or, more likely, a mechanic in that world!

About Adrian Hughes
(Details last updated: 14 June 2017)

Adrian Hughes has worked in the newspaper and consumer magazine sector for 27 years. He is group managing director for Time Inc UK, managing the sales and marketing business, Marketforce.

comments powered by Disqus

Most read on InPublishing

These are the most read stories on the InPublishing website over the last 14 days, in order from the top.

News

Woodland Group acquires COMAG Forward

Posted on: 20 September 2017

Wallpaper* Announces Senior Team Changes

Posted on: 13 September 2017

Egmont launches Glitch Magazine

Posted on: 5 September 2017

New Weekly Newspaper For Oldham

Posted on: 15 September 2017

Readly accelerates international expansion

Posted on: 15 September 2017

Angry newsagents say Enough’s Enough

Posted on: 19 September 2017

Articles

My Publishing Life – Jon Bickley

Jon Bickley
Posted on: 13 September 2017

The Changing Landscape of Subscriptions Management

Alan Weaver
Posted on: 27 July 2017

James Wildman – Q&A

James Wildman
Posted on: 19 September 2017

How to sell more copies

James Evelegh
Posted on: 27 July 2017

Digital magazines are back!

Ranj Begley
Posted on: 31 July 2017

My Publishing Life - Susan Duffin

Susan Duffin
Posted on: 22 August 2017

Putting culture first

Meg Carter
Posted on: 27 July 2017

A Window of Opportunity

James Evelegh
Posted on: 27 July 2017

Rediscovering print

James Evelegh
Posted on: 31 August 2017

Perils of picture captioning

James Evelegh
Posted on: 7 September 2017

This list is based on data from Google Analytics, and is refreshed every 24 hours. (Last updated: 23/09/2017 07:47)

Editor's Pick of Recent News Stories

Posted on: 21 September 2017
Posted on: 19 September 2017
Posted on: 18 September 2017

Find out more about

Featured job

Research/Audience Development Manager
Salary: Salary range: £24-35k + bonuses
UKi Media & Events
Dorking, Surrey

Featured in InPublishing Jobs

InPub Weekly: Sign-up

Click here to sign up for our free weekly email newsletter:

Sign up now!

Magazine registration

Publishing Partners Guide