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Social Media Portal interview with Matthew Jaffa from the FSB

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 01 May 2013

SMP Q&A with Matthew Jaffa, senior development manager for London from the Federation of Small Business (FSB)

Profiled interview with Matthew Jaffa from the FSB on Parking Crowdmap, part of its new ‘Keep Trade Local’ social media campaign

The Federation of Small Businesses -FSB logoSocial Media Portal (SMP): What is your name and what do you do there at The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)?

Matthew Jaffa (MJ
:  I’m Matthew Jaffa, senior development manager for London, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and I represent the 7,000 London members through campaigning, external affairs and event management.

SMP: Briefly, tell us about FSB (for those that don’t know), what is it and what does the organisation do?

MJ:  The FSB is the UK's largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of around 200,000 self-employed individuals and owners of small firms.  We offer a range of member benefits including: Free legal advice - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Free Business Banking, Discounted Business Insurance, Tax Investigation Insurance – and a small business lobby voice!

SMP: Who is your target audience and why?

: Our target audience is any self-employed person or a small business owner– defined as having fewer than 50 employees.

SMP: Tell us a little about the Parking Crowdmap – what is it and what does it do?

MJ: The crowdmap is a tool to help businesses let their local council know how out of shape (or in shape) their parking policies are.  It provides a direct voice to local government.

SMP: How does it tie into your ‘Keep Trade Local’ (KTL) campaign and how are you getting the word out?

MJ: It dovetails perfectly into our ‘KTL’ campaign as positive parking measures are vital to the effective operation of local high streets.  A recent FSB parking survey in London found a majority retailers saying that parking policies were having a negative impact on their business – so we thought something needs to be done and done differently!

SMP: What is the main goal of Parking Crowdmap and the main thing you’d like people and businesses and take away?

MJ: The goal is to create a social network for parking issues – and for councils to say, “we better act on what these businesses are saying.”

SMP: How long did the service take to develop and be ready for businesses and people to use?

MJ: It took less than a month from idea to inception.

Photograph of Matthew Jaffa, senior development manager for London from the Federation of Small Business (FSB)SMP: How can you report back the impact the Parking Crowdmap is having and how and when do you envisage sharing this?

: How long is a piece of string – this map is only as good as the businesses populating it.

SMP: What was the most challenging aspect of getting Parking Crowdmap and the ‘Keep Trade Local’ campaign started and what is it now?

MJ: Keep Trade Local has always been in the blood of the FSB but the crowdmap took a little internal buy-in – particularly the social media team!

SMP: What are the low moments of what you have been doing so far (in regards to the FSB, building the Parking Crowdmap)?

: The soft launch and getting the first few businesses to pump their data on it – took a lot of phone calls and headaches

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far (in regards to the FSB, building the Parking Crowdmap and maintaining it)?

MJ: Getting blanket coverage over the BBC and ITV news on the day of launch.

SMP: What do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities in terms of moving the Parking Crowdmap project forward?

MJ: Keeping businesses interested now that the initial media burst has died down.

SMP: What are your top five predictions for social media over the next 12 to 18 months?

MJ: I think social media will grow so widely that in a few years I will be saying “I used to do something called ‘texting’ when I was younger.”

SMP: Best way to contact you and the FSB?

MJ replies with:
We are at,
Twitter @FSBLondon, nationally at @fsb_hq
and of course the parking crowdmap -

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

: My younger son’s left over porridge and my other son’s left over Weetabix.

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

MJ: Gave my brother a golfing ‘gimmie’ (a.k.a.  a putt from 4-5 feet without him having to putt it in the hole).  

SMP: If you weren’t working at The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) what would you be doing?

MJ: Trying to become a professional singer – if I could just learn how to sing first ☺

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

MJ: Went to Turkey last June.

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

MJ: Slice of toast and check the emails standing up (so indigestion by 09:10).

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

MJ: ‘Traffic-man’ the ability to part traffic like Moses parts the ‘red sea’, or how Jim Carrey does it in Bruce Almighty.

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