This week I’m talking people who impress me…and people who don’t, plus exciting press coverage and meetings with a charity partner.
Highlight of the week
It might sound odd to say that one of the most difficult meetings of my career was actually the highlight of my week – but it was. Let me explain! The meeting was with Ostrich Care, the makers of a GPS tracking device called Bob which addresses the ethical considerations often associated with trackers by not invading the personal privacy of the person with dementia. Instead, if a user goes missing, relatives or carers are directed to an NHS care team which will then decide if it’s in the user’s best interest to reveal their exact location.
While I like the product and understood its benefits I could not agree with Ostrich Care’s demands that if we were to sell it, we should not sell any other GPS tracking device. GPS trackers can be a tricky issue which is why we stock a range to suit different needs and budgets. Unforgettable’s mission is to empower carers to make their own informed choices – not to tell them what to buy. The meeting became quite heated and although sticking to my principles means we won’t now be stocking these particular GPS trackers, I came away feeling even more convinced that Unforgettable is doing the right thing…which was why it remains the highlight of my week!
My week began with a two-hour interview by journalist Harriet Green from the London daily newspaper City AM. She was very impressive, knew all about social business and had personal experience of dementia. I really enjoyed talking to her.
Afterwards, I went straight to the first Unforgettable Foundation trustees meeting. Our trustees are Zoltan Bozoky, the former chief strategist at the Department of Health with a speciality in dementia, and Bruce Steinberg who has an impressive corporate career running several TV channels for Sky and is heavily involved in social businesses. We discussed maximising the impact of the Foundation by implementing a $120,000 campaign in 2016 to change perception of dementia, with particular focus on the 87 per cent of people who don’t believe any products exist to help people with dementia.
The day finished with an exciting presentation of ideas for our social media campaign from PR agency Claremont. I particularly liked their ‘laugh or cry’ idea which would involve us working with comedians to develop a completely different view of dementia.
I finished the day decorating my Christmas tree!
I started the day filming a promotional video for the launch of Unforgettable’s first personalised jigsaw which goes on sale soon. Then, after a meeting with the Alzheimer’s Society, designed to strengthen and deepen our relationship, I worked with our team on a survey about business values. It’s really important to me that Unforgettable has a set of values that our employees believe in. Our brand came from compassion, our name came from our community (a carer living with dementia came up with the name Unforgettable) and our values should come from our employees.
David and I started the day at charity Dementia UK for a meeting with its chief executive Hilda Hayo. I’m delighted to say we’ll be forming a charity partnership with them. Back in the office, it was Katie Mountain’s first day. She’s our new business development manager and I spent the next few hours working with Katie on her 100-day plan. The rest of the day I worked with the product and content team to implement our work on potentially avoidable hospital admissions, considering the new products and advice articles we might need to help people deal better with the key causes.
The day kicked off with a meeting with the founder of Sporting Memories Network. Tony Jameson-Allen is an impressive guy who’s achieved a lot with his sports reminiscence charity which helps people to experience the pleasure and power of sporting reminiscence. We hope to become charity partners. This very positive meeting was followed by the very difficult one mentioned above. Back in the office it was time to review job applications for customer service vacancies and to start thinking about our Christmas product planning. Onwards and upwards!