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Member Spotlight: Fiona Newsam, Digital and Social PR Advisor, BAE Systems February 15, 2019

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be part of BAE System’s Digital communications team?

I’ve been a part of BAE Systems since university and after completing several really interesting customer-facing roles, I was offered the chance to work on digital strategy within the communications function, which is where I now work as a Digital and Social PR Advisor within the air sector of the business. 

What do you see are the key trends in digital communications for 2019?

I think we will see the importance of humanising content through a more story-led approach.  Making an audience feel something is going to be more important than ever in building their trust. Equally, there is no better way to increase engagement, particularly on social media, than showcasing your own people and culture. In 2019, I’d expect to see an increase in the use of employees as brand ambassadors and a move away from the use of traditional influencers. 

What for you has been a stand out Social/PR campaign for 2018? 

One of our most impactful projects was the work we did to celebrate the RAF in its centenary year. Between April and October last year we dug into our business to unearth 100 of the people stories behind our collaboration as well as to tell the stories of invention, service, support and technological edge that underpin our proud partnership. It was a massive team effort and resulted in some of our highest engagement across social media.

How will new technologies such as AI impact your role over the next few years?

AI is going to play an increasingly important role in the coming year, particularly in a digital context. Using AI to monitor and identify trends and engagement will help inform the work we do moving forwards. Using this technology will help us make the way we work far more efficient and effective, allowing us more time to focus on the creative side of content creation.  

What advice would you offer to someone starting out in the world of digital communications?

Say yes to every opportunity. Demonstrate that you can take on and make the best of any project and learn as much as you can along the way. Use and push your creativity but equally understand the importance of analytics and how to leverage them. Staying on top of current trends has to be on the list as well.

And finally, how is being a member of the Digital Leadership Forum important to you?

The DLF is a good way to network, get your name out there and make connections. The event I attended in December on digital marketing trends really helped me to think outside of the box by introducing me to new people and ways of working. I look forward to attending future events in 2019.

Interview by Sarah Cooper, Membership Consultant, Digital Leadership Forum

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