Always keep moving forward
A view from Sue Unerman

Always keep moving forward

At MediaCom's conference this week, we heard case studies of two connected partnerships that truly use TV to its full advantage.

Both Iceland's sponsorship of I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and WKD's association with The Only Way Is Essex make the most of ITV and every kind of second screen.

They also both had a massive impact on the businesses' relationships and employees.

Normally, we consider a sponsorship’s impact primarily on the target consumer for the brand. But Nick Canning at Iceland pointed out the enormous benefit that the association with I’m A Celebrity… has had on staff morale (what could be better than a visit from Peter Andre?) and at sales conferences. You can't beat a bush tucker trial for management at the conference.

The theme of the day, at the London Studios overlooking the Thames, was about connections. Media doesn’t work in silos, business doesn’t work in silos, life doesn’t work in silos. We heard a number of speakers talk about the importance of connections professionally and personally. And although the theme was about building better connections, working the whole system and not just each silo, a lot of the speakers talked about bravery, authenticity and growth. As Canning said: "I believe you should never accept what you’ve got – always keep moving forward."

The most emotional moment of the morning (apart from watching Joey Essex watch himself walk on water) was hearing Simon Daglish and Jaco van Gass talk about walking to the North Pole. Simon’s charity, Walking with the Wounded, has not only raised money in a super-connected way but has also changed attitudes to the wounded. Jaco, one of the heroes from the show about the expedition, said: "Life is 10 per cent what happens to you and 90 per cent how you deal with it." Given how much Jaco has had to deal with, having recovered from severe wounds to walk to the North Pole and climb the Everest, this was extremely motivating. He said: "You have to take steps, so I thought: first, learn to walk again; then get rid of the colostomy bag; then walk to the North Pole." Wow.

We all need to take steps forward and never be satisfied with the status quo.

Sue Unerman is the chief strategy officer at MediaCom