Jan 27

2013 Week 4

Reading

  • A list of the 33 most creative women in advertising. (Why 33, no idea!). I’ve worked with one (Colleen DeCourcy) and have loved the work of the others. Women make up only 3% of creative directors in this male-dominated industry, but there are slow moves to change this
  • The US PGA enforcing bans on reporters using social media on the course – at a time when they are expanding their usage. Confusing messages for fans of a sport
  • Coke’s view of mobile. Some great learning here. Somethings I’m continuously saying to the teams at work – everything has to be considered mobile first, you can’t use the can’t use it standalone and you have to think integrated, both within a single campaign and across all your campaigns. that is, don’t build an app for every new campaign, think how you will fit them all together over the months and years.
  • Thinking about Twitter competitions and best practice for running them. Some helpful legal guidelines came up about running promotions.

Doing

  • Work wise, the week was fairly quiet. We had training for the new format in reviews and I started to prepare stuff. We had some feedback on a pitch and need to do some more stuff. (keeping it deliberately vague). I got involved in a quick turnaround project that needs some designs/content for early next week. Keeping my fingers crossed for that one!
  • We had a visit from the group CEO, who was recently appointed. He’s making his way round the various offices to see what the different companies do. Of course, this meant a quick tidy up all the office! But we didn’t do any decorating :-)
  • Gym attendance was good this week – 4 sessions done. Had a second go at Pilates and decided that I like it and will keep going. Also had my first go at spin, but that won’t be continuing, as my legs don’t suit the pedals, it locks my feet in the wrong position, causing pain! To continue with training, I went and got some proper running shoes as well, which should minimise issues
  • Dinner out with friend this week at J Sheekey. A great meal – and we’re committed to dining out more often as part of our 2013 changes
Jan 21

Linked In Best Practice Guide

Duncan Chapple’s post brought to my attention that the LinkedIn guide that I contributed to last year (in fact, last May) is now online. The B2B Marketing Linked In Best Practice Guide is available for purchase now. I’ve started looking through the rest of the book (I contributed the section on Brand Building) and so far loving the contribution of the others. As well as Duncan, there are sections from Andy Bargery, Mark Fones and Maya Grinberg

Jan 18

2013 Week 3

  • The week after CES means reading about CES. Not just the immediate responses, the announcements and the press releases, but the posts from those who have taken time to think about what they have seen. the Verge went through what they though was the best of CES. Of a far more reflective nature is the piece from Stephen Sinofsky, who is ex-Microsoft Windows. (via Ewan Spence)
  • Social Media Today has a list of the best social media conferences to attend in 2013. I’ve never been to any of them! Probably because the conferences I do tend to go to are slightly more on the tech side (Le Web, SXSW) or completely different things like TEDx events. However, if your after some of the beast thinking then last list is a good one. You should also look out for Social Media Week which is coming up soon.
  • This is brilliant – Nicole Cooke’s retirement speech. An insight into the chalelgnes of women’s sport, the impact of doping on the overall health of women’s cycling
  • The Friday pitch went well – at least from our side. After pitches, it’s always about the wait. It’s a rare thing that clients get back to you when they think they can get back to you. There’s always something, a person not around, a further piece of information they need. It’s a waiting game.
  • Friday night was supposed to be a birthday party – so I was expecting a wee bit of a sore head on Saturday. But an evening phone call put paid to that, with a request to go onto Sky News Sunrise show on the Saturday morning. The topic was the use of social media to promote positive activity in Belfast, supporting businesses during the current protests. I always enjoy these opportunities, and this time I got to sit on a Breakfast sofa for the first time ;-)
  • Saw Les Miserables – the film. One thing that struck me is that on a stage, all the action is constrained, you need to use imagination to paint the scenes, you can all the parties singing, you can see the whole thing. You would think that the film would take advantage of the ability to show a much wider scope. But i found that lacking – and it seemed that most of the film was close-ups of the actors, emoting, showing that they were real ‘actors’ that could sing rather than stage actors who need to project. I love the stage show, the film left me feeling a little short changed.
Jan 11

2013 Week 2

Week 2 is done. I’ve decided I don’t like the sign outside Southwark Tube station, which provides the date. It’s a reminder every morning that another day has been ticked off and it’s mutely asking me what have I done to change the world. Or something like that! So what have I wrestled out of this week?

  • Via Terrence Eden, i read this great report from Vanity fair on the making of the Blues Brothers. Fascinating insight into the minds of Aykroyd and Belushi.
  • A last minute request to go to Switzerland for a client meeting meant I was able to go early for the weekend to meet up with Geoff to discuss the social media marketing for a film being made this year in Switzerland. Called Murkwood, it’s due to start shooting in the autumn. But at the moment, the team behind it are shooting a short called True Dark. Geoff and I went up into the mountains for look at what was happening as they shot one of the key action sequences for the short. (full set of pictures here)

    True Dark Shoot

  • The meeting was with a long-standing client and focused on the partnership we are building with them over the next few years. I was there to discuss how social and digital can be used for their primarily B2B work but how it can also be used to create a pull from the end customer
  • Back in the office for the rest of the week, straight into a pitch prep. The pitch is today, for a second strand of work with a client we won in the latter part of last year. Again B2B work, my focus is on strategy and process for this one.
  • The gym visits are going well. Caroline is great at getting me to the gym and once there, I’m the one who makes us do things! We’ve created our own programme to start off with, a lot of core strength work to get us started. Next week we’ll be off to our first class!
  • I wrote about my brother-in-law and Mont Ventoux yesterday and that is going to be a focus this year. Getting him back up that mountain!

And that is that. A fairly quiet week all told, no world changing things yet.

Jan 10

Paul and the Mont Ventoux

In September 2012, my bother-in-law Paul flew out with 2 friends to tackle the challenge of Mont Ventoux – climbing the mountain 3 times on 3 different routes in 1 day. The night they arrived, off out for a ride, he got knocked off his bike by a truck. He was airlifted off out, with a blood-clot on the brain that left him in a coma for 3 days. Worse, it completely destroyed his shoulder – even after operations, nerve transplants and reconstructive surgery, he still has no use of the arm.

But he’s not letting that stop him finish his challenge. He’s planning to go back in July this year and complete it. He’s got a support for the arm and is currently tackling the problem of safely connecting the arm to the handlebars, so is looking for advice for that and he’s started back into training!

Article in this week’s Express and Star (not online for some reason)

Jan 04

2013 Week 1

A challenge to set myself! A defined weekly blog post. But the question I ask myself, is it about progress, the job, my life, or is it about things I’ve found you may enjoy. The latter inspired in particular by James Whatley’s Five Things on Friday series of posts which I’ve really enjoyed reading over the year. But as he says in the last post, the series evolved, so I’ll start with something and see where it goes!

  1. First up, a great round up from Grégory Pouy of what he sees as the best digital campaigns of 2012. A series of case studies to be borrowed across the following year! But don’t just read the examples, think about the why. Do you agree with Grégory’s reasons why they are good? Do you think there are other reasons?
  2. Looking forward, Deep Focus have produced as excellent piece of work about trends in 2013. Everything is bang on in that list, things I’ve been talking about internally for years. What’s most relevant in my agency is point 9: “The changing demands of demographics and devices will make experiential a key part of digital marketing“. That’s exactly why I joined Momentum in 2010, because of the opportunity about social around experiential and events, because it’s not just engaging with people with Facebook, but INVOLVING them through experiences. And this leads to Henriette’s constant refrain about Return on INVOLVEMENT being a key metric, which made it onto Mashable’s list of 2013 buzzwords. I’m looking forward to being able to read Henriette’s book in English :-)
  3. Finally, a connected piece about the type of thinking that you need to do around planning for an brand event – this time when a brand is sponsoring something. Great piece from Leo Ryan about sponsorship social planning, the process and the tactics that you can use. There are other things that you need to think about when the sponsorship runs over a series of events – what’s the connecting story and how do you keep things fresh without feeling repetitive, but that’s another post!

That’s what I’ve been reading..what else has been happening?

  • came back to work to find out we’d won a nice little pitch, international, but with plenty of London involvement. Another sport we’re going to be involved in
  • started the year supporting a pitch, straight back into thinking.
  • Moved my gym membership closer to work, so less excuses not to go. Got a gym buddy. Will be working hard at the measuring and monitoring and taking advantage of the trend of apps for the quantified self!
  • finally, had a quiet Old Year’s Night, then a long walk on New Year’s day to take advantage of what felt like the first dry day for ages!
Jan 03

2013: Change, Connect, Challenge

So yesterday, I took a look back on the mixed bag of 2012. But am I going to do something different in the upcoming year, or just let the world drift on as it is and see what happens. As you may guess from the title, the answer to that is no. 2013 HAS to be a year of difference, where work is put in and I don’t just enjoy what life brings.

I’ve decided to think about #themewords for the year. Many of the people I admire have been using this for a few years, whether it’s just the one like Tara Hunt or 3 words, like CC Chapman or Chris Brogan. Thinking of themes and words makes you contemplate the year, what you want to get out of it and clarify your mind. And writing them down, sharing them with the world, makes it more likely that you will follow them through (or so said the psychologist on BBC Breakfast this week :-) )

The words are straightforward, but what do they mean for me?

  • Change: Looking back over last year, there are many things that need to change. far easier to say, so my focus has been on methods to drive the change, through small, easily adopted methods. This is not the rip it all up and throw it away kind of changes I am looking at, but ways to take behaviours and techniques from areas of my life that work and apply them to others.
  • Connect: As I said yesterday, my default mode is hermit. I’d rather be home reading than out partying. But that means I am losing connections with family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. I need to bring that back together and maintain those connections, or reconnect where they have been lost.
  • Challenge: Or this can also be challenges! I need to change what I’m doing. I need to get others to challenge (positively) what I am doing. And I need challenges to motivate me to do things.

Change, Connect, Challenge. The theme and underlying philosophy for what I will do this year, across the focus aspects of my life. But what does that mean in some practical terms?

Physical

Measure, measure and measure again. I’m no stranger to the idea of the quantified self, but the reality has mainly been location check-ins rather than physical measurements. I’m very good at location check-ins, it is a habit that is now ingrained – my 569th check-in at the office this morning definitely proves that. Knowing what I am doing by measuring makes me think more about the actions and allows me to change things. if you don’t know, then there is little you can do to change. When I’ve tracked activities and calories in the past, it works to change things, but the practice stops and then the behaviours drift away. I know that measurement is a key driver for me to permanently changing exercise and eating habits… so to make the bigger changes, I’m going to be focusing on a smaller change of extending my tracking behaviour.

This starts with the purchase of a Fitbit (partly funded by the Christmas voucher I got from work) to track the everyday activity. Add to that Runkeeper (for runs and walks) plus MyFitnessPal (for food/calories) that is giving me enough tracking – and more importantly reminders to phone and email – to keep me focused.

It’s not quite enough though. I’ve switched gyms, so it is now about 2 minutes from work (instead of the 15mins it was before). But more importantly, I have a gym buddy who has also signed up and we will be encouraging each other. That is a big change and should work to keep things going and help change habits.

Relationships

This is all about driving the connections. Picking up the phone more – so simple things like putting in reminders if all I’m only connecting over social media!! Getting out and about more when there are things going on. And I’m trying internet dating; I’ve had mixed reports from colleagues about this, but I may as well give it a go.

Career

I’m in my 3rd year in this role, with the 4th one heading rapidly towards me. it’s time for a change I think. Not a massive change, but I’m looking to try a few new things this year and have been talking to the management about opportunities. I’m going to be actively looking for speaking opportunities as well, to get back into that and build up a wider reputation. I know I’m good at what I do, I will be looking for occasions to get external recognition for it.

This year, I’m also going to be a mentor. I’ve been informally doing this with a friend over the last few months and now will be adding a formal mentor relationship through a group company initiative. Through a ‘Women’s Leadership Network’, they’re bringing women together across the wider group of IPG companies to support us in our careers. This brings in challenge – part of mentoring is challenging your own expectations and assumptions as well as the mentee’s, so that will be fun.

Experiences

There’s no Olympics this year – so what am I going to do! I’m already working on this. I’m going to be visiting Japan for the F1 and I can’t go all the way there without doing other things as well. I’ve set myself the challenge of completing the London Outer Orbital Path (or LOOP). Another challenge is to visit all of Wren’s churches in London. There’ll be more, I’m sure.

2013 ahead

So that’s it. Again, no resolutions, but this time a different way of documenting my ambitions and about how I frame my thinking for the year. Change. Connect. Challenge. It’s all about that.

Jan 02

2012 Review

How was 2012 for you? For me, it was pretty good – although not so good for some of the people around me who faced their own set of hard challenges.

But taking a look back at what my ambitions for the year were, they were not as successful as they should have been. For some of them, I over achieved…but for others, didn’t really even scratch the surface. I’m not going to go through each point, but going to take a larger view, ready for this year’s ambitions – splitting up my aspects of life into Physical, Relationships, Career and Experiences.

Physical

This started to so well, with consistent training to get myself ready for the Sports Relief 3 Mile run. I gathered the sponsors and prepped the body and ran up and down the Mall for 3 miles. That’s probably the longest I have run since cross-country at school. But then, it stopped. No goal, no driver, so back to bad habits. The occasional gym session, the occasional long walk, but not consistent, so no sustained change made. It’s not as though I don’t know how it all works, just not got the motivation!

Relationships

Reflecting on this over the holidays, it was definitely a poor year. And not just on the dating front (dating, what’s that?). I let family and friend relationships wane at times without putting enough energy into them. Because I was too busy at times doing other things – see the experience section! Also because my default at times is to be hermit like.

Career

A holding year. Carried on as usual, although some team members changed in my direct team, the peer group stayed pretty much the same. On a wider front, there was an occasional TV or press appearance, but again, quiet and low-key.

Experiences

Lots and lots and lots. Mainly Olympics! Think I’ll do another post with a full review of the activities I did get up to this year. I did not get a volunteer role, despite being on the reserve list all the way to the Games but made up for it by buying lots of tickets for Olympics and Paralympics.

The 2012 Ambitions

This is what I said I was going to do over the past year. Some worked, other’s didn’t.

  1. Consistently do exercise. This needs to be built into my daily activity. I’ve reactivated my gym membership – a work benefit – and am getting support through Twitter. This used to be easy…now too many things get in the way.
  2. Do 6 planned walks over the year. There’s a great book about walks around London, with the Capital Ring also looking good. A few more of these to be added this year.
  3. Visit 5 new UK places. I’m running out of close Cathedrals, but still got Bath on the list to do.
  4. Do 5 new experiences. No idea what this will involve. Hopefully it will include volunteering at the Olympics. I’ve had my first interview, just waiting to hear if I get accepted.
  5. Blog more. I’m in my 6th year of blogging and I don’t do nearly enough!