GDR Creative Intelligence, Senior Writer - Insight

London (Central)
£40K to £45K DoE, plus year-end bonus
12 Oct 2016
12 Nov 2016
Job Type
Full Time

The Business

GDR Creative Intelligence is a London and New York-based trends consultancy, retained by many of the world's leading consumer brands to inspire innovation. GDR has long term relationships with clients internationally including Tesco, Waitrose, Moët Hennessy, Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, Target, Coca-Cola, Capital One, Lego, Hilton, Macy’s and many more.

GDR focuses mainly on the retail, brand and hospitality industries, showcasing global trends in the physical and digital environments through which products and services are sold. The trends we author are illustrated with case studies from consumer facing environments, services, in-store technology, social communication, brand campaigns, marketing innovation, packaging and service design. These case studies are researched and sourced from third parties: design agencies, architects, technologists and commercial businesses.

GDR works primarily with these third party case studies and examples and does not undertake qual or quant consumer research, nor data research and analysis. In some cases we will source third party statistics to support our analysis.

General position

This job is full time, based in Bloomsbury, London.

This post sits at mid-level within business - Level 2 out of 4, where level 4 is the CEO, COO and Insight Director. GDR has two “teams” – the research and editorial team and the consultancy team. Consultants manage accounts and deliver client-facing service. The research team is responsible for researching, writing, curating and analysing content. This is published in four formats:

  • physically in our quarterly 200pp Global Innovation Report,
  • digitally on our paywall site and our public blog,
  • through keynote presentations given by the senior consultants
  • as part of bespoke project work.

The role is within the Research Team and reports to the Insight Director on key responsibilities. The Senior Writer will support the Insight Director and the Senior Consultants with thought leadership regarding trend identification.

The Senior Writer will mentor and motivate the Research Team, continuously improving standards. (The COO oversees HR matters). This is not predominantly a client-facing role, but there could be client contact for the right candidate.

Key Responsibilities

  • Researching and writing insightful content in both long and short form, in various formats including for print, online, for presentations and workshops. This will require advanced research and analytical skills and an understanding of business imperatives across at least some of the sectors in which GDR works including beauty, consumer electronics, hospitality, fmcg, retail banking, retail. ​
  • Leading Research Team discussions to determine trends/themes under the direction of the Insight Director. The post-holder must be opinionated about innovation, have a deep interest in technology, and be vocal and participatory in discussions, offering thought leadership to the team. ​​
  • The post-holder will be responsible for mentoring and motivating the Research Team, continuously enhancing their capabilities.
  • Carrying out research tailored to specific briefs, generating clear, insight-driven analysis and conclusions that guide client’s decision-making on how to invest in the future.
  • Leading the preparation of workshops and retail safaris, under the direction of the Insight Director. 
  • Writing, overseeing and monitoring the writing of newsletters, GDR’s blog, and other content for social media promotion.
  • Brainstorming, storyboarding and writing scripts for trend and insight videos, in collaboration with the Insight Director.

Additional responsibilities

  • Liaising with design, architecture, PR companies and marketing departments to gather press information and images, including phone and face to face interviews. This role requires the post-holder to establish a wide range of contacts in the creative industry, therefore a good phone manner is essential.
  • Wide-ranging reading across global online and print media. 
  • Self-managed individual research, but remaining in constant communication with other team members to avoid duplication.
  • Compiling and writing both short and long form features, in GDR’s house style, and preparing them for proofing and layout. For these features, you will receive your own by-line. This requires excellent writing skills and perfect written English. 
  • Working closely with the Production Editor to ensure all Research Team output deadlines are met.
  • Compilation of Keynote and PowerPoint presentations to a brief. GDR uses Apple Macs and Keynote is our preferred presentation software. 
  • Participating in video production, interviews, script writing and story boarding for internally and externally produced videos.
  • Helping to put together agency shortlists for the matchmaking service that GDR provides. 
  • Attending conferences, as required, for creative industry contacts and insight development. 


  • Updating research databases and general admin.
  • Assisting with organisation/running of GDR events, as and when necessary.

Person specification


  1. 5 years experience in advanced research or investigative journalism, including the interrogation and organisation of PR materials, public sources, and third-party data. Desire to ask questions and interrogate the why as well as the what. These skills will be thoroughly tested as part of the interview process.
  2. Interest in, and advanced knowledge of, social media and digital innovation. You may have written for Wired, Mashable, TechCrunch, for example. To be tested at interview.
  3. Commercial awareness, with an interest in the business case behind innovation.
  4. Superior writing skills. Previous experience of writing for B2B or serious B2C  publications in tech, retail, FMCG, marketing, hospitality or similar. Our audience is frequently director and C-level executives, who require concise yet detailed texts. Many of our clients are not native English speakers and struggle with colloquialisms, British idioms and complex argument structure.  
  5. An ability to write both long form and short form copy that is powerful, clear and appropriate for online. Excellent appreciation of how to use additional media to support and build a story online: video, different imagery, quotes, infographics etc.
  6. Excellent sub-editing skills and an acute eye for detail. An eye for design is a plus, but not essential.
  7. Good spoken English, excellent interpersonal skills both in person and on the phone.
  8. An ability to contribute confidently and dynamically in brainstorming sessions.
  9. Familiarity with all major social networks.
  10. Candidate must be a self-starter and able to work independently, as well as being a team player, with good mentoring skills and an ability to motivate others.
  11. Good time management skills and organisation are a must, as this role requires working to tight deadlines.
  12. We are looking for someone who is hard working, enthusiastic, self-sufficient and quick to learn new tasks and processes.
  13. University degree desirable but experience is more important.
  14. UK visa holders only.


  1. Knowledge of trends within retail, hospitality and brand innovation. Or related areas such as design, architecture, the business of fashion and the creative industries.
  2. Experience managing a team (mentoring and motivating, not HR).
  3. Computer skills, including Mac OS, PowerPoint, Keynote, InDesign, Photoshop.
  4. Multi-media skills, video / editing skills, graphic design.

Full time, based at our offices in central London.

37.5-hour week, Monday - Friday. In certain circumstances additional hours may be required.

Salary: £ 40K to £ 45K, plus year-end bonus

Start: ASAP

Apply by completing the application form below.

Strictly no agencies.