Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Vanessa Bakewell, Client Partner, Entertainment, Facebook

We’re asking some of our industry’s leading figures to nominate their digital hero and to explain what’s so special about them.

Vanessa Bakewell, Client Partner, Entertainment, Facebook, has been at the company for eight years and previously worked at M&C Saatchi, EMAP and YouTube, where she set up the Entertainment Team.

Sienne Veit from John Lewis picked Vanessa as her digital hero, who now passes on the baton and picks her own My Digital Hero.

Who is your digital hero?

Glenn Cooper, Senior Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, Universal Music UK

What has he done to win hero status in your eyes?

Glenn is hugely innovative. In his time at Universal Music he has been at the forefront of digital, constantly innovating and embracing new products, platforms and strategies to drive awareness, intent and connection and in turn sales and streams for artists and labels.

Glenn is also a serial intrapreneur who has green-housed many projects in music and media, taking a seed of an idea and developing new business departments, strategies and revenue streams for the labels.

How has his heroism helped drive digital?

Glenn has lots of courage! He has created a bold vision for new projects over the years and has done so with enthusiasm, confidence and tenacity. I have known and worked with Glenn for well over a decade in digital and he has been a great partner to work with.

He has a very positive outlook and can clearly visualise opportunities. He is also hugely empathetic and hasn’t feared failure. Instead he has celebrated opportunities for growth for all teams and partners on projects. Glenn has integrity in spades and a lot of humility in business. He has been such a progressive digital partner over the years who I have personally learned a lot from.

In his spare time, Glenn worked with a friend of his to set up ‘Homeless Stories’ — a social good initiative to humanise this important issue and raise awareness by enabling people affected by the many different forms of homelessness to tell their personal stories. Seeing this in action and what Glenn has achieved here is incredible.

What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

We need more creative heroes in digital use their influence for good like Glenn, bringing all of their expertise, experience and passion to work with organisations who have a social and environmental impact. 

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

Five years ago, I set up a networking forum for Women in Entertainment and Digital. There was a gap for a networking group for women across my industry to connect. The forum, The WED network, now has over 1,000 members and is a very active group on Facebook.

I have always loved connecting people over the years. I love facilitating relationships and bringing people together.

Community is at the heart of the group. The members have been able to secure contracts, new jobs, mentoring, advice, contacts, directors, designers, sponsorships, a listening ear, support, funding and much more due to the group being in operation.

I am proud to see how the grown over the years and the connections that have happened due to it.