In the second of our ‘meet the associate’ articles, where we talk in more depth with each member of the Fundamentally Children Associates Network, we are chatting with children’s digital media consultant, Stephanie Gauld.
You can find out more about the Associates Network here.
Over to Stephanie…
Could you tell us a bit about your background in children’s industries and how you got to where you are now?
Having always wanted to work in children’s media, I started off as a writer for a small magazine company, writing children’s and romantic short stories.
I then joined a dot com, developing their IP and creating content, after which I moved to BBC Education as a senior producer. When children’s split between CBBC and CBeebies I was transferred to Children’s to head up the launch of CBeebies interactive. It was an amazing privilege to work across 47 brands and with such a talented team.
After a break, while I had my first little boy, I was recruited by Disney to head up their virtual worlds studio in Brighton, setting up and leading the team and launching Club Penguin in EMEA.
After having my second little boy, I joined Egmont as a digital publisher, developing new IP and overseeing the launch of several apps, including one which reached number one in the children’s charts in 28 markets.
Subsequently, I’ve pursued a predominantly consulting based career, helping companies with award-winning IP with their digital strategies (across social, online, apps and YouTube), developing pitches and producing content.
Could you tell us a bit about your current role?
Currently, I’m working on two incredibly exciting projects: one is a project around mental wellbeing with a BAFTA and Emmy award-winning production company and the other is with a Bristol-based start-up who are creating new and ground-breaking franchises for children.
What services can you provide to Fundamentally Children’s clients as an associate?
I can provide three key services in the children’s space:
- IP development
- Digital assessment, recommendations and strategy
- Production of digital products
What’s the best thing about working in the children’s industries?
I love the opportunities in the children’s industries. Children are endlessly creative and well-known early adopters, allowing producers to develop new and exciting products, which they will embrace. Working with children to capture their vision for digital products never fails to improve them and is great fun to do too.
And the worst?
Revenue is a challenge and we need to be realistic about what we need to input into a project and have a strong go to market plan for it to be successful.
What’s your favourite industry event and why?
Mip Junior – great people talking about interesting projects… and sunshine.
If you didn’t work in your current role, what would you like to be doing and why?
Probably either writing or teaching English or Latin… I studied medieval literature, which covered the most amazing stories, and Latin. I love etymology and the stories and meaning which are infused in words.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given from someone in the children’s industries?
“Remember it’s a toy, not life and death”. In other words, don’t take it all too seriously…
What’s your all-time favourite children’s toy or app?
Even though it’s been around for a while it has to be Club Penguin (Island) because of its ethos and understanding of the audience. I love the values of the team who set this up to be a safe alternative to other digital experiences and how much effort was put into this (safety was led by the highly inspirational Nathan Sawatzky); I also love how the experience was tailored to different types of player preferences, including those who were more exploratory and those who were more competitive, in a thoughtful and creative manner.