I’m an engagement and social media consultant, interested in openness, collaboration and human-centred ways of doing things. I work with government and agencies as a white label associate, and directly with small businesses and nonprofits through the Social Media Launch Pack.

Starting out

Originally a journalist and TV producer, I spent the 1990s making talk shows and factual entertainment for the likes of ITV, Sky, NBC and MTV. In 2001, I took an MBA in e-business, won a distinction for my dissertation (at RDF Television), and co-founded a consultancy, iKnowHow – advising TV and media clients on using interactive, digital technologies.

Next 10 Berlin with Ola Ahlvarsson
Debating with Ola Ahlvarsson at Next 10 Berlin

Getting geeky

At iKnowHow, I ran Technical Change, a two year mentoring programme for Women in Film & Television (which won Skillset’s Diverse Talent Mentoring Award 2008) and worked as innovation programmer for Birds Eye View Film Festival.

I chaired events looking at the impact of digital technologies on the creative sector for Cornwall Film, Musictank, New Media Knowledge and Pact. I was invited to join The Hospital Club as a founding member, and become an RSA Fellow.

Meanwhile, I was developing technology strategy and delivering workshops for public sector organisations such as e-skills UK, Creative Skillset and the UK Film Council (now BFI), and producing online content for commercial companies like BT, New Media Partners and Pearson.

I set up and ran Cass Creatives for my old business school, Cass, and returned as a guest lecturer to teach leadership theory to MBA students. I also taught creative entrepreneurship at Kings College, and social media marketing to PhD students at UCL. I got interested in the synergies between leadership and Web 2.0, and was commissioned by Triarchy Press to write a book.

From beaches to brands

After three months living in Tel Aviv (where I set up the flexible working blog, A Beach With Wifi), I came back to the UK to work as head of social media for All About Brands. There I developed social media projects and worked on campaigns for a number of clients including CashFlows, Croner, Dementia UK, Fresh Business Thinking, Moneycorp and Shawbrook Bank.

I also worked as a freelance consultant for lovely people like Cadbury, the RSA and Sustrans, and as a social media consultant for the Rupert Heath Literary Agency and Timewise Foundation. In 2013, I developed the Social Media Launch Pack specifically to help small businesses and startups. 

With BBC Breakfast presenters in the Media City studioAppearing on BBC Breakfast in February 2018

Small is beautiful

While larger organisations are getting their social media act together, small businesses still struggle. The Social Media Launch Pack gives small businesses the tools and templates they need to grow a powerful social media presence when money and resources are tight.

I like the engagement levels at early stage. That’s when you really get to know your customers. When you can build loyalty by genuinely being nice and having time for people. If you get this stage right, you’re laying the best possible foundation for the future.

Also, who doesn’t love the excitement of creating something new? Through Social Media Launch Pack I’ve launched products and services for the UK government and social enterprises as well as small and micro-businesses. Right now, I’m working with Design Club, a new community interest company building a network of mentors to teach design thinking as a life skill to children.

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