Shirley Smith: A Digital Hero

 
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Jenny Stanley is the Founder and CEO of Appetite Creative Solutions, the multi-award-winning company with clients including Best Western, Chanel, Nokia, Disney, Mercedes, British Airways and Armani hotels.

Over 18 years Jenny has held senior roles at Microsoft, Oddcast, Eyewonder and Adform. She has also been responsible for regenerating the Eyewonder UK office; and launching Adform Brand Solutions business globally.

Who is your digital hero?

Shirley Smith, Sales Director, Flashtalking is my easy choice for digital hero and it is her birthday today so I hope that this will be a birthday surprise for her!

What have they done to win hero status in your eyes?

Shirley is actually more of an unsung hero of the digital industry and for so many reasons. She has an unrivalled enthusiasm and positive approach to everything that she has undertaken, and every role that she has thrived in.

She is the go-to person for knowing which are the must attend events; and she will always go out of her way to get invites to events that she is involved in or to connect people. She is a true inspiration and always goes the extra mile, with infectious positivity.

She is part of mentorship programs and always provides her time and knowledge to anyone who requests or needs it; without needing the badge to shout about the help that she gives to so many people.

How has their heroism helped drive digital?

During her career as sales director, Shirley has amassed 20 years of commercial experience across leading digital, technology and creative businesses. Her deep understanding of the digital space, relentless energy and an extensive network, has meant that she has been pivotal in driving the revenues and success of startups and fully-fledged digital sales teams within the digital space.

What the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

Innovation or lack of innovation versus the pressure to deliver performance. True creative innovation requires investment and a willingness to go over and above, to create a truly compelling and interactive piece of creative.

All too often people take the easy route in both creative execution and media planning. My future hero will be the person or people who push hard to get creativity back at the top of brands’ agenda and at the heart of their digital media strategy.

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

In 2018, I founded Femme Niche, which is a non-profit network that focuses on corporate women who have experienced or who are currently experiencing inequality in their workplace.

We are a group of women who empower each other to be on the top of their game. Women have so much potential and with just a little bit of boost from fellow women, we can conquer all obstacles and achieve every success.

Since launching Femme Niche, we have run events in Madrid and Dubai, plus we are bringing the event to London this summer – so watch this space!

by Andrew Hutchinson for New Digital Age