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Social Media Portal interview with Fiona Gibbins, marketing director at

Staff (Social Media Portal) - 19 September 2009

Profiled - - The online publishing company specialising in sports and fitness-related websites

An interview with Fiona Gibbins, marketing director at

The Social Media Portal talks to Fiona Gibbins at about online publishing, health, social media and networks logoSocial Media Portal (SMP): What is your full job title and role (what do you do) at

Fiona Gibbins (FG): Marketing Director at Ltd. I look after our Social Media Plan, PR Function, Email Marketing programme, Partnerships, and Development of applications

SMP: Briefly, tell us about, what is it and what does it do?

FG: is an online resource for anyone wishing to fuel a healthy active lifestyle. The site is made up of vital content, social media tools, and engaging applications to ensure that users have everything they want to chart, monitor and live a healthy active life.Photograph of Fiona Gibbons, marketing director at

SMP: What made you start

FG: I was a client, and I was flattered to be asked to join in a marketing function by the CEO, Tim Rogers.

SMP: What was the most challenging part of building the service?

FG: Getting the right staff in the right jobs.

SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

FG: Anyone who wants to live a healthy active life, and wants to share their experiences online.

SMP: How did you initially attract users to your site / service, and how do you do it now?

FG: Initially the site was set up as an online running resource, and targeted runners who were completing races such as marathons, half marathons etc. Therefore we developed partnerships with races like the London Marathon. We could see that our users were not just marathon runners; they still ‘had a life’ and therefore developed the site to encompass everything to do with healthy living. Giving them the chance to experience everything under one roof. I’m looking at some new partnerships at the moment which I hope will be a fantastic unison.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?

FG: Looking at the future plans of the company, and knowing what we’ve got in store! But also personally it’s when we launched our mapping tool ‘Map your Passion’ it’s a fantastic app, and I think really adds value for our users.

SMP: Now that you are established, what do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities?

FG: Maintaining our audience and growing it on an ongoing basis. We are constantly developing new tools and applications for the site, and we need to maximise the benefit of these. There is a raft of competitors out there, and we need to keep on our toes, and maintain our uniqueness. We need to carry on integrating new social media tools to and continue embracing social networking in the future.

SMP: What are the next moves for

FG: Launching new tools later on in the year that will enable our existing users to have a better experience online, and providing new users with a comfortable place to visit and engage in the site, and come back again. User Generated Content is, in our minds key, to allowing our users to be our company! We just need to provide them with the tools to do this.

SMP: What’s the next big step for social media and networks?

FG: If I knew the answer to that I would be keeping it quiet.

SMP: What’s going to be the most interesting aspect regarding social media / technology throughout 2009?

FG: I think the rise of Twitter has been vital in allowing users and companies to interact together in real-time. Those companies using it and garnering positive, and negative feedback from the customer base, will have the advantage over their competitors in the future.

SMP: What impact is the global recession having and what do you think the best way is to manage it for businesses such as yours?

FG: Advertising revenue is an essential part of, and we’ve obviously seen budgets reduced, but it’s also about ensuring that doesn’t impact on the growth and development of the company. We’ve sat down and looked at expenditure and refocused as appropriate.

SMP: How does this fit into plans at

FG: We are still working as hard as we were before, and just watching and sitting tight.

SMP: Best way to contact you?

FG: Call +44 (0) 20 7202 7982 email fiona @ or twitter me

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

FG: Large latte - not very healthy and some sushi!

SMP: What’s the last good thing that you did for someone?

FG: Directed lost tourists to the Tate Modern, not necessarily a good turn but helped someone out..

SMP: How many hours to you work a week?

FG: Well, 3 days a week currently, but manage to do a few extra bits when my little 1 year old  goes to sleep during the days I am not in the office

SMP: If you weren’t running what would you be doing?

FG: I don’t run, but I’d be doing something that would ensure I was busy and enriched!

SMP: When and where did you go on your last holiday?

FG: August 2009, camping in Cornwall.

SMP: What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

FG: Check our site for new blogs, updates etc

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

FG: Time travel – the word’s ‘benefit of hindsight’ wind me up.

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