In an attempt to showcase the personalities of the people behind the media and marketing sector, The Drum speaks to individuals who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what insights and life experience they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions are put to Cecilia Dominici, head of social media, news and content for Cancer Research UK and chair of the judges for The Drum's Social Buzz Awards.
What was your first ever job?
I’m originally from Italy so I used to tutor people in Latin and English. I used to be really good at it in school and I used to tutor students in Latin when I was about 15 or 16. I loved it, it’s absolutely useless but I loved it.
One piece of tech you cannot live without?
Probably my Fitbit. I really love learning about how well I sleep and how many steps I do each day. I’m a little bit addicted to it, I love the data element of it and seeing what I do. It gives me more insights and changes the way I behave, so if I’m working from home and see that I’ve only done 2,000 steps so far or if I’m not sleeping very well I will go to bed earlier.
What is the one buzzword you would kill off?
Only one? Viral. I hate the word viral, it’s overused, especially my career when agency side with people asking ‘can't we make this go viral?’ The number of times I’ve heard that. It used to be something that generally would happen in social but in these days it’s rarer and rarer and the word is so overused.
What is something you still want to achieve?
Professionally, I would like to have one of those campaigns that people say have had a huge impact on them and where I can say that I have personally done that. That’s maybe a bit egotistical though! And on a personal level, I would love to do a PHD.
Who is the one person in the industry you most enjoy spending time with?
I love Rachelle Denton who is a friend of mine and also a really inspirational woman all around. She is amazing at her job and is very active in the industry, she is a great strategist who has recently worked with the BBC. She does a lot of speaking gigs, and I really love her.
What is the one piece of advice that you remember best?
Someone once said to me that if you really want that promotion then act like you already have the job, which really annoyed me at the time because I wasn’t getting paid for it so why should I? But it’s true if you want to progress you have to step up and show that you are already doing it. That was a good kick up the bum.
Which piece of work do you most wish you had worked on?
Do you remember Dumb Ways to Die? That one. It was just brilliant. It took a dark subject and made it fun and got people talking without offending them. It was so well done and before that people wouldn’t have really talked about those dangerous behaviours. It was amazing and really catching and such a good idea.
What needs to change about social media?
Having worked in social media from the start pretty much, when there weren’t even Facebook pages or anything like that so I have seen it mature as a channel and it now has accountability which people want to see. It has a risk of losing authenticity a lot because there is just too much out there. Every brand wants to have a purpose, every influencer wants to be the best and be genuine while having a paid partnership at the same time. It’s a bit of an interesting time, especially for marketers as social platforms lose trust, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens next. Marketers especially have bombarded consumers and we have to take a step back and realise that this engagement by itself doesn’t mean anything and just putting eyeballs on content is not enough. If you want to have meaningful engagement you have to have create content in a meaningful way and perhaps the meaning has been lost bit and we need to get that back.
What is your favourite platform?
Probably Instagram because I have five or six accounts as I curate different interests in there. I have an account for my cats who have more followers than me which is outrageous and then I have my personal one and another for friends and family and then depending on my mood I switch to things I am interested in. It’s probably not how most people use Instagram but it works for me.
Which one event must you attend every year?
It would probably be Bonfire night, which sounds random but not being from the UK originally, I love Autumn/Winter and it’s such a fun tradition that I’ve really adopted. I really love it. I love fireworks and being in the cold in a muddy field. I just really love it.
Read more 10 Questions With... interviews here.