Celebrating CeBIT & Social Skills Sharing

So as promised, I wanted to share a few things around my week in Hannover last week, and what a week it was!!

I went over to support a specific IBM event during the CeBIT conference, focussed on IBM Verse, and spent the week tweeting from the IBM Social Business UK Twitter account. We had a great team of onsite people and remote teams tweeting from other accounts in their native language, including German, French, Italian and Spanish.

I was very fortunate to be working with three FANTASTIC ladies from the states at CeBIT, Phylicia Proctor – who headed up the team, Camille Brandon – who worked on social tiles (in multiple languages!) & with our Pedicab team, and Emily May – who was responsible for taking a lot of the content we were creating and sharing in on our social hub so that people across the world could easily share it with their social networks. We used Whatsapp during the conference so we could quickly share content amongst the onsite and offsite group.

Here I am with the lovely ladies on St Paddys day – really will be friends for life.


We were also working closely with the very talented Stefan Pfeiffer, who among many other things at the conference, spoke twice on the value of Social Business AND organised an AMAZING surprise beat box session during the conference, that aimed to drive attendance to the signature event on the Wednesday and encouraged people to get involved in a competition to create a verse around Verse – for those German speakers you can see the beat box session here.

Here is an example of one of the social tiles created from the IBM Verse event.


There were several aims of our social media activity during the week, the principle being getting CeBIT attendees to come to our Verse event and those that weren’t at the event to attend via the live stream. Then once the event was taking place, to make sure we were sharing great content via various IBM channels from the IBM and customer speaker sessions. Here is a storify of my favourite tweets during our Verse event at CeBIT.

We were also trying to make sure CeBIT visitors came to the IBM stand – where we were showcasing a range of IBM expertise, including Watson, Social Business, Cloud, Security and much more!

Here is a picture of our fantastic IBM stand at CeBIT.

IBM CeBIT stand

As I mentioned we also had a pedicab – where we were asking people to share their stories of what they would do with their extra time, if they spent less time working on their email. Here is an example of one of the videos – 

And here is the pedicab! What would you do with your extra time? I think I would use it to garden! 

IBM Verse Pedicab
 In Other News 

Despite being tired from a crazy week in Germany (including a ten hour journey home due to cancelled Lufthansa flights) I joined friends in a local pub on Saturday to watch lots of rugby!! It was a shame that England didn’t win the tournament, as it went down to goal difference, but it was a really exciting match, and great opportunity to catch up with everyone! Her’s a picture of me with my sister and great friend Mychelle (yes that is her real name and not a typo!).

I have a great weekend coming up too, going to a great gym class with a friend on Saturday morning, date night with husband Saturday night, and Sunday catching up with the girls, including my friend Riggy who lives in Italy and only get to see twice a year so really looking forward to that!


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OK so it’s be a while….but I have a new job!

So it has been far far too long since I have written a blog… but a lot has happened! I have got married (and been on honeymoon), been to another 4 weddings & 2 funerals, had a new patio and driveway laid, had two job changes and finished my leadership course!!

But I have decided with my NEW role, I am resurrecting my blog, changing the URL to my new name, and vowing to post at least once a week.

The new role is a dream job for me – European Social Media Strategist! I will be working alongside Mika Jaakonaho and continuing to work for Justina Gilbert – in her new role as Head of European Digital and Social Media Strategy (congratulations Justina!). There are also three digital specialists on our team, so hoping to learn a lot from them.

This is a brand new team in IBM, and I am really excited about how the role is shaping up – which I officially start on the 1st April. However, as part of my old role, and due to my love of social media, I have been asked to go to CeBIT in Hannover for a week from the 16th. I will be social reporter and tweeting from IBM Social Business UKI  – all around the fantastic new IBM Verse – centred around the theme of A New Way to Work – here’s a YouTube video explaining more.  So please check back that week as I aim to send a blog each day (hopefully using my new iPad mini 3 in gold that I have just ordered!).

I am looking forward to being involved in key social media projects at IBM, as well as working with people in the European countries that I cover, and hearing about all they are doing in Social!

I am also hoping to go to as many Social Media Leadership Forum events as possible – I have been to a few now and they are absolutely fantastic – both thought provoking & inspiring when listening to what others are doing in social! I sadly missed this mornings due to being unwell :(.

I am going to keep up my “in other news” – so please see below!

And check back next week – I WILL have blogged!! In the meantime you can follow me on Twitter at @RSwindell.

In other news
I am really enjoying the Six Nations – mainly because I can combine two things I love – rugby and social, by tweeting about the IBM Try Tracker!! Englands loss last weekend was a shame, but I am not sure we would have deserved a win! Here is a picture of me using the Try Tracker, and one of me enjoying a healthy snack before the game on Valentines day (still trying to fight the flab by being a Weight Watcher!). Get involved on England match days using #IBMTryTracker.

Rugby Pics B_BPjiNXEAAGwNz


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Terrific Day at Twickers with IBM Business Partners

Yet again I have to apologise for the sporadic nature of my blogs… and the excuse is still the same, that I am doing so much fun stuff at IBM at the moment that my feet haven’t touched the ground in weeks.

On Tuesday I headed off to Twickers in the glorious sunshine to spend the day at the IBM Software Group Business Partner College – which is an annual event where our BPs are able to attend different tracks on key subjects, delivered by IBM and agency subject matter experts, to help them enhance their skills & grow their businesses.

The college was opened by Dom Poloneicki (@poloniecki), Director of Enterprise and Channel for Software Group, who explained the overarching theme of the day was “Breaking New Ground”, with the additional mantra of Simplicity, Profitability and Growth.  He talked about the importance of Data and Analytics, and one of my favourite sound bites of the day came from him when he said “we used to use intuition to make decisions…now we use analytics”.  Dom talked about IBM’s commitment to key strategic areas of Cloud, Analytics, Mobile and Social – all underpinned by security.  He talked about the amount of investment IBM is making in these areas, both in terms of resources and R&D.

Next up was rugby legend Will Greenwood – who talked about IBM’s relationship with the RFU, in particular how the IBM Try Tracker is changing the way the game is played. Analytics have had a massive impact on coaches insights and decisions, and explained how he thought the marriage of gut feel and data is a fascinating concept. Will said that using data is helping to simplify the game – he called it the “mum test”! It means that the understanding of the game is expanding to a wider audience, it’s getting more people talking. Here is a photo of the IBM Try Tracker in action.

BP trytracker

Rebecca Sinnatt (@RebeccaSinnatt) then spoke, who is the IBM Software Group Channel Leader, who also emphasised the amount IBM is investing in the key areas mentioned above. Rebecca spoke about how IBM wants to work in conjunction with our Business Partners to Be Essential is our customers. She also talked about how she believed that it takes true courage to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past, and reinvent your business, to say “I am going to break new ground”, and successful CEO’s are able do this. Rebecca closed by saying that it is her vision that all her team are embracing the Business Partners and are working collaboratively with them to ensure our customers are experiencing the best we can offer.

The next session I attended was by Alison Orsi (@Alisonorsi), IBM Software Group VP Marketing, who took the audience through some key findings from IBM’s work with CMOs, and the shift we are all seeing in how customers are engaging in this digital age. Alison spoke about how the main catalysts for this is the mountains of unstructured data. Customers expectations are changing, they want to be seen as individual buyers by name and they want to be able to instantly be able to share things with their networks. In fact in IBM’s CMO study – we found that 90% of customers expect personalisation, but only 32% of companies are doing this. Alison talked about how the CMO study also showed how there is a gap between aspiration, action and reality of where companies are in their digital journey, but really technology really can help you do anything now – and companies should aim to become digital pace setters, rather than just traditionalist.

Here are couple of interesting slides from Alison’s session (sorry they are a bit grainy).



The last session of the day I would like to talk about is my favourite Social Business evangelist Stuart McRae (@SMcrae). Stuart talked about the social internet is changing IT, and it’s challenging the way we work. Our customers are now vocal 24/7, and we need to make sure we take advantage of this. Social Business, in particular collaboration is crucial to this.  Here are a few of my favourite slides from the session. Again sorry for how grainy they are!



photo 41

Our Wimbledon stand was also at the event – telling the story of how we have been working with them now for 25 years. Here is a photo of me with the stand and my colleauge Emma Beattie (@emmajbeattie).

emma and beckyJPG

Remember, as usual, you can catch real time updates from me by following @RSwindell.

In other news….
I got Brazil in our World Cup sweeptake!! Here is a picture of me showing my support.


I also made a strawberry and jelly flan for our Punnet meeting (Social Media around IBM at Wimbledon – see my previous blogs!) You can just make out #thepunnet in strawberries (if you look hard enough).


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Everywoman event – another inspiring day at IBM!

Hello all, sorry again…. I know it’s been a while, but have been super busy with my MLDP project, marketing events and social media around Wimbledon – oh and planning my wedding :). I also apologise for the length of this blog, and hope I don’t lose you half way through, but there was just so much interesting content from the event I went to that I wanted to include it all!

Last week I was fortunate enough to go to my first Everywoman event, it was a technology leadership academy and the theme was “Restless Reinvention” – if you want to see all the tweets from the day, just look up #techacademy and follow @everywomanuk.

The session was kicked off by the co-founders of Everywoman, Maxine Benson and Karen Gill , who welcomed everyone and took us through the agenda – it looked like we had a fantastic day ahead of us and were going to be able to hear from some very inspirational women.

The first item on the agenda was without doubt one of the most inspiring panel sessions I have ever had the pleasure to hear from. It was led by IBM’s VP of Marketing, Alison Orsi, who opened by talking a bit about the history of IBM, and how we have been restlessly reinventing for the last 100  years. She spoke about how IBM strives to lead with innovation that matters in this industry of disruptive technology, and that how new imperatives such as Cloud, Mobile and Social are changing the expectations of end users from a service & value point of view, therefore changing all our professions.  Alison then said her main motto is “believe in yourself & the opportunities will flow”, which I completely agree with, I have been trying this for the last 12 months, and as you know if you read my blog regularly many great things have been happening!

The panel then introduced themselves and gave a brief history of their careers to date & how they have all succeeded as women in Technology by reinventing themselves. The first to talk was Dr Sue Black who is the founder & CEO of Savvify. She has done some AMAZING things in her career and I highly urge you to follow her on Twitter to hear her opinions first hand. Alison asked her what her life motto was, to which Sue replied “if you want something just get on with it….we waste half our lives worrying about stuff”. 

Anne Marie Imafidon, Enterprise Collaboration Strategist at Deutsche Bank AND founder of Stemette, was next to give her views on how important it is for more women to succeed in Technology, and said her motto is “seek forgiveness not permission”.  

Alicia Navarro, CEO & Co-Founder of Skimlinks, was the third panellist to speak & her motto was also very memorable “if it was easy, EVERYONE would be doing it” – which is very true, & something I should definitely think about as the intensity on my MLDP project heats up!

The last panellist was Katrina Roberts, head of European Technologies at American Express, who spoke about how her dad had really encouraged her to get into IT – and he himself at 70 is a blogger!!  She said the key to her success was to love the job she is in, & finds it endlessly fascinating.  Her motto is “focus on what you are good at and put to the back of your mind those you aren’t good at”.

All these mottos got me thinking, what would my motto be? I know it would be something to do with Social Media – as that’s what I love more than anything, so maybe something like “social media shouldn’t scare you, it should make you shine”.

And the end of the panel there were some clear themes coming from these inspiring women:

  • All challenge the status quo
  • All reinvented themselves – it wasn’t that they knew exactly what they wanted to be from a very early age – it all evolved
  • All pushed themselves outside their comfort zones
  • Get mentors and mentor each other
  • All saw no limit to what they could achieve (or as someone once said to me, I have to “break the glass ceiling” – these women have clearly smashed the “glass ceiling”!)

We were then split into two groups and attended some masterclasses, the first one I went to was around “Transactional Analysis”, led by Pippa Isbell. She spoke about how we all have three ego states – Parent, Adult & Child, and that we move between these states as we interact with people. Leaders are able to work with and show all three of these states, but are clear on the boundaries.  To be leaders we need to understand all of these three states, & work effectively with them.  These states can be manifested in verbal, non-verbal & through tone of voice.

Here are a few pictures of the slides that explain more:




After lunch we were lucky enough to hear from Karen Steidle, the VP of Industry & Business Development for IBM UKI. She said we should “always be clear on your wish list”, and make sure you share it – execs are not mind readers & they don’t necessarily know where & what you want your next role to be. She also said how important culturally expanding experiences have been to her, which made me think about my MLDP course, and how that is really helping me understand different cultures by working with a global team. She also said it is important to take time off!!  Karen went on to say that the grass is not always greener on the other side, it’s only green where you water it, take care of your patch and you will grow a beautiful garden. She closed by saying no to get distracted by the side show, it’s empty calories… which takes time away from getting home to your family. Finally… her coping mechanism – just laugh!!!

What struck me about Karen’s session is that she even though she has taken chances/risks, she has also done it with her family in mind, and done what is in her heart (a word she repeated several times) – so want to keep this in mind in my career moving forward.

The penultimate session of the day was from Nick Moffatt CBE, who was the highest ranking female officer in the British Army, another very inspiring lady. We talked the attributes of a good leader, such as being authentic, listening, being confident, and being supportive. Nicky said the overarching idea was that a good leader needed a vision… if you don’t have a vision why would anyone follow you!  Nicky explained that she thinks to be a great leader you need to develop a depth and breadth of experience, make time for yourself and network!! She urged us to pick mentors who have done things similar to what we want to do, to have more than one, and to have mentors from different sectors/organisations. Most importantly, we need mentors would will speak up for us and promote us when we are not in the room.

This session made me reflect and think about if I have any of the attributes of a good leader, which ones I am good at, which I need to work on etc…and I think my MLDP course is helping me develop some of these skills but there is a long way to go!

The final session of the day was from Jennifer Holloway, and focussed on making the most of your brand – not your company brand but your OWN brand, and was incredibly funny as well as incredibly enlightening! Jennifer spoke about how business has changed, but we need to ask ourselves if we have changed with it? This means that PEOPLE BUY PEOPLE, and you never have a second chance to make a first impression. So you have to ask, if people are buying me, what are they buying?! What makes you different, what do you bring to the table?? However, Jennifer did console us by saying that not everyone will buy our brand… that’s fine.. as long as we are authentic in our brand, that’s all that matters.  Three important take home messages from Jennifer were:

  • Define Your Brand
  • Check Your Brand
  • Share Your Brand!! 

So overall you can tell I had a fantastic day, met some amazing women, and a lot of food for thought on how to restlessly reinvent myself! 

As usual, you can always following my daily musings on Twitter with @RSwindell – the debate over whether I  change this at the end of July to my name new continues!

In other news…
I had a lovely night in London last week as well, including dinner on South Bank (see selife!), but I am still wondering what the hotel towels were meant to be?




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#thepunnet – another reason why I love my job

OK so breaking all my own rules… and not blogging regularly AND mixing topics. But yet again something is happening at IBM that I am involved in, loving every minute of, and want to share with you all.

I am now part of an exciting new team at IBM called The Punnet – and we are all working on the Social Media from IBM around the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in 2014. The team is being managed by Justina Gilbert (my boss) & Scott Stockwell (brand and communications leader in the UKI), with one of our key stakeholders being the client executive lead for Wimbledon (and the RFU) – Sam Seddon. The Punnet team consists of a range of people from across IBM UKI marketing and communications, some of us are aligned to brands, some in PR and some in advertising. We are meeting once a week, and using IBM’s video conferencing software when not in the office (must make sure the study is tidy every week from now on!). I have put all the team into a twitter list that you can find here – https://twitter.com/RSwindell/lists/team-social-ibm-wimbledon and you can follow our progress by searching #thepunnet.

We have had two great workshops so far where we are exploring a wide range of social media activities that will be taking place pre, during and post the tournament. I have already learnt so much about how new projects should be approached, teams managed, content generated and shared, what makes content memorable and how it should make us feel. Scott has even kindly given us special team notepads to make sure we can jot down ideas on the move!


It is a very special year for IBM at Wimbledon, as 2014 is the 25th year that we have been partnering with Wimbledon – this partnership incorporates several key initiatives that IBM helps clients with – including Cloud, Analytics, Social Business and Mobile, you can find out heaps about how we work with Wimbledon by visiting www.ibm.com/wimbledon. The best known part of course of this relationship is the IBM Slamtracker!  So with this special anniversary in mind, there should be a great buzz on all social media channels, with some fantastic new stats and content coming VERY soon from IBM – so make sure you watch out for it.

It really is projects like this that motivate & inspire me, and make me very very proud to be an IBMer.

Remember you can get my daily updates by following @RSwindell.

In other news….

We built a new bike shed this weekend… the instructions said it would take two people two hours… it took us eight, but I think that just made me more proud of our efforts!! And check out our rotivated lawn.


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iMedia – my highlights from day two!

As I posted yesterday, I had a fantastic day at the #iMedia2014 summit last week, and wanted to share my highlights from the afternoon sessions.

After lunch the first session was a fireside chat with the head of media fro GSK – Sam Singh. He said that the great idea are platform agnostic, ideas can come from anywhere, in addition great ideas are scalable opportunities for the entire business. Search and video are key aspects of this mantra. The consumer journey has to be considered throughout the process of content creation, as well as where the content will be placed. Digital should not be considered as one thing however, it’s not an animal it’s a zoo!

Next was a discussion with the CEO’s from Civolution & Xaxis. One of the comments I thought was very interesting was the idea than that it used to be electricity spikes in adverts when people went to make a cup of tea, now everyone picks up one of their devices to browse and search. – attention is moving to your “second screen”‘ so this is having an impact on TV adverts, great campaigns would sync the experiences so optimising the messages.


Joel Windel from Brandwatch was try first session after a much needed coffee break and briefly introduced their social listening platform. He then discussed social media trends, and then walked through an theoretical example of tourist board campaigns, and how just counting how many people talk about your brand is hollow and meaningless. Relevancy needs to be taken into account, so as well as intent to purchase. He also spoke about taking sentiment with a “pinch of salt”, which I 100% agree with! as listening tools can not (yet) distinguished tone of voice, sarcasm etc.

Next YPlan discussed some of the trends they have seen during the last fifteen months during the launch of their going out app in London, San Fran and NYC.
Engagement trends
#1 Push vs. Pull
#2 customisation and social relevancy is the name of the game
#3 target key touch points
#4 mindshare at pain point
#5 move with technology

Another panel session followed talking about Start-ups and disruptive tech: How can brands maximise the value of their investment? Companies speaking included Unilever Ventures, Expedia, Vizeum, Amnesty International and was moderated by
Ken Valledy, Founder & CEO, t2b. Unilever said it was the second largest advertiser on the planet, it doesn’t want to be the largest, it wants to be the most effective. Unilever therefore encourages experimentation by using new innovative companies, but making sure they address the risks that might be associated with this. He also said there is no point a large company just thinking about itself, there needs to be a win for the smaller digital companies etc that it’s working with,which I thought it was a very interesting concept.

The final panel session of the day was on experience verses comms and featured a range of interesting speakers. I thought one of the most interesting comments was from Geoff Seeley at Unilever…TV still works as people still watch it, the experiment is what is the exit broadcast channel. We still need to operate at scale, but need to be brave to move down new paths to ensure we are at the forefront. I must also say the concept behind “ieat” I thought was brilliant and their success is inspiring. I also really liked what ITV said about brands may want a deep relationship with their consumers! but consumers don’t necessarily want a deep relationship with the brand!


Dave Trott from Gate London and was certainly one do the most frank speakers of the day! He said you need to separate style from creativity – style is tarting something up that already exists, creativity is creating something NEW. He gave the example of CGI adverts – being style rather than creativity. He gave an interesting stat 1000 messages per person per day, so with 100 of us in the room, that’s 100,000 messages and only five people stuck up hand to say they remembered an advert they saw yesterday… Think of all that wasted advertising money!

One of the messages that really stuck in my head,  was when Dave said that the quality of the brief is inversely proportional to the quality of it – don’t over complicate it! People will just flick the channel.

Remember you can follow me on @RSwindell for what else I am up to.

In other news…

I got a new bike from Evans for my birthday – the Claud Butler Pinelake mountain bike – here’s a picture of Velcro checking it out!




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iMedia Digital Summit – what a great event!

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the iMedia digital summit (#iMedia2014). The agenda was packed full of interesting sessions, so wanted to share highlights of a few of the ones I enjoyed the most. I also met some incredibly inspiring people, so have a renewed vigour around my digital campaigns at IBM. I have split the blog into two parts (morning today and will post afternoon tomorrow), apologies for the length, but there was just so much great content that it was hard to cut it down.

The days main focus was on data and content making customer experiences better. The first speaker was Bettina Sherick from 20th Century Fox and was SVP of Digital Marketing Strategy. She says God intended us to watch movies on the big screen, and her goal is to make sure this continues for all generations to come!

“We have had to change the way we market films before… WhenTV came along! Hollywood has to be astute as we march forward in this digital world” Bettina said.

She then discussed some of there recent digital tactics. Like the social cards they produced for the Life of Pi films, which went viral on social networks. As well as the yahoo network, where incredibly emotional stories where shared, and Fox won four awards for them. She also spoke about the Secret Life of Walter Mitty ( LOVED that film!) and the #liveyourdreams campaign. This led to Casey Neistat using Fox’s campaign money and help to go to the Philippines and run a relief programme to help thousands of people affected by the typhoon, and making a video of what happened – http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jU7rhVub0rU

Bettina wrapped with these tips – sorry for blurry photo! I think you should all follow here on twitter @bettina.

Top Tips from Bettina

Aol also did an interesting session on the future of online video given by Mark Melling. Here’s an interesting slide of the pros and cons of TV verses Digital advertising.

Pros and Cons

Do you agree with the chart above?

Mark said he believed the future is a convergence of these two mediums, leveraging the best of both and creating a better ecosystem that improves the way the consumer receives the content.

Here’s another few interesting slide from the Teradata session given by Tom Bailey

photo 1 photo 122 photo 13

I then went into a stream of sessions around engagement. The first was Dominic Duffy from Ceros on Engagement or One Night Stand. He went through some don’ts:

Don’t treat content as an ad campaign – the goals are not the same
Don’t create a strategy to specifically designed to increasing sharing – consumers aren’t stupid
Don’t assume content can’t work across device – it can!

And the do’s
Do design for humans – don’t force people to zoom!
People like video – so use it!
Ask questions
Make it shoppable
Measure constantly and refine in context – which people and what content did they interact with

Next was a panel with people from McLaren, EE, Buzzfeed, Very, Base79, and moderated by Sandhutch, and the debate focused on unlocking value on video as part of integrated campaigns. Great data analysis seemed to be the key for this, and video content not just served on TV, but on YouTube etc. Creating the right content for the right platform is imperative for long term growth.

Buzzfeed are starting their campaign for working with brands for producing great video content now in the UK so I will be eagerly looking out for that, their YouTube channel has had a billion hits in just 18 months.

photo 2

But at the end of the day all round agreement from the panel on INTEGRATION of campaigns is fundamental to success! That and emotive content.

There was a further panel session with people from Spotify, Outbrain, and different person from Buzzfeed and moderated by Seven on content marketing verses native advertising in driving engagement. A very clear message from Buzzfeed was “trust the audience” – don’t just try to flog standard ads, listen to what the consumer wants. if you go to a party don’t just talk about how fabulous you are – people will walk away – the same applies online, relevance is crucial. Spotify added to this saying to build trust you have to be transparent, audiences now see through it, build proper value. Lego are ether masters of content marketing according to Outbrain, so maybe it’s time I kept a closer eye on Lego and try to emulate some of their success in my content creation!

I will post again tomorrow around the afternoon sessions – which again where packed with some great content. You can always follow my updates via Twitter on @RSwindell.

In other news…

I had a great catch up with one of my beautiful bridesmaids (there are six of them!) in Windsor on Friday night, and went to a bar called the Duchess of Cambridge, which did great cocktails, so recommend it if you are ever passing through!

Natasha and Me


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