Well connected in Rome


Once a year we get an opportunity to meet with our colleagues in a global gathering of marketeers and communicators (not quite sure what the correct word for us would be!). The venue was Rome with representation from the Ericsson Market Units, Business Units, Product Areas and Group Function getting together for a packed two-day agenda including our strategy, roadmap, brand, best practices, customer insights, social media plus of course the annual awards ceremony for which we were nominated in two categories. I’ll post more about some of that content in due course, but let’s jump straight to the awards night.
After a bus trip from the hotel, via a Michelangelo exhibition at the Capitoline Museum, we arrived at the Joia Music Restaurant for pasta, live music and the odd bottle of Peroni of course! The area was very relaxed and lots of discussion over the first day of our meeting, the highlight for most was the inspiring talk from Giovanni – Head of Marketing & Communications at Italian motor giant Fiat. He was also a man after my own heart when it comes to PowerPoint quoting “Anyone who presents with 100 or more slides has nothing to tell!”

One of the first celebrations of the evening came when a good friend of mine from Ericsson France took the Media Relation award for the great work they are doing in social media with a blogFacebook and Twitter among the ways they reach and communicate externally. Bien fait! She tried to call the office to let them know of the success only to find out that they were at the Stade de Françe for the World Cup match against Ireland. Needless to say that later in the evening it became apparent that the French and Irish would not be seeing eye to eye, or rather hand to ball!

Then came the award for Best Customer Business Development and one which saw us up against some of the perennial powerhouses such as North America and Business Unit Networks in this area. With India & Sri Lanka thrown in there too for good measure it was a tough one to call. Over to the judges. “…and the winner for 2009 is Market Unit North Western Europe.” Wow, what a great and unexpected result :-) This was great recognition on what the team have delivered in demonstrating to customers the business potential of the connected home and how it provides them a platform from which they can differentiate themselves in the competitive arena.

Onto the final award we were nominated in – Best Strategy Communication. The heavyweights Market Units of Australia & New Zealand, South East Europe, Greater China and India & Sri Lanka were all there with us and each had a powerful case for the crown of 2009. The friendly rivalry with the Aussies had continued all evening as we baited and joked with each other on the outcome. This time though it was hats off to the team from down under as they scooped the award with a great program designed to address the gaps in leadership communication skills through storytelling. Well done guys – we’ll see you again next year!

It’s cliché but we’re all winners. The level of submission is getting higher and higher each year in these awards and we all take ideas from each other to drive our strategy through the organisation using a variety of communication tools and techniques. The connected home vision won us praise in some circles, the connected employee could well be the answer for internal communications in 2010. Ciao!

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