May 19, 2020

Prezzroom: a professional platform for your business

Brittany Hill
3 min
Prezzroom: a professional platform for your business

Entrepreneur and founder of Prezzroom, Michelle Songy speaks with Business Chief to discuss industry trends and 2020 predictions.

1. Could you tell me a little bit about your company and your role at the company? 
Sure, I founded Prezzroom in 2017 whilst running another fintech company. In an attempt to manage costs, I started to do my own company's marketing and PR outreach after using and being disappointed by various 3rd party agencies and freelancers. I had no previous experience in the PR industry, I realized there were a lot of opportunities to improve the overall structure, transparency, awareness, communications, and manual tasks that publicists and editors spent much of their time on. Through some tech innovation and streamlining processes, we've been able to cut PR costs down by 50-75%, making the once luxury service industry more available for startups and small businesses.

2. What are the current trends within your industry? 

Digital is definitely taking over traditional media, especially in terms of measuring return on investment (ROI), it's essential to see what the most relevant publications are for your product so you can hit your demographic and drive conversions. The past year has also seen a major shift, emphasizing the importance of participation on podcasts. The money in that new industry grows day by day. It's exciting how much knowledge and insight you can gain from podcasts these days; it does wonders for a brand's awareness and gives the control to the speaker to get their message across how they want to. Collaborations are also growing and can help brands find look a like brands to grow their awareness and also share the overhead costs of certain activities and activations.

3. What makes your company competitive? 

We are affordable, transparent, tech enabled yet personal, experts in health and wellness, and as we all have experience working at startups so understand their challenges, cashflow, and better yet opportunities. 

4. What innovations has your company been developing during 2019? 

We've been working on a few developments in terms of better measuring ROI across various platforms and working on some AI so we can better serve media professionals to discover and connect to new relevant brands. 

5. What are your predictions for the industry in 2020? 

Instagram removing 'Likes' will change the game for influencers and users alike, I think in a good way. We have always liked working with real, micro influencers and find them have the most engaged following and trusting fans. 

6. Any exciting news you’d like to share with our readers at Business Chief USA?

Stay tuned, we have a new website platform rolling out next year that will definitely change the game of PR! 

For more information on business topics in the United States, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief USA.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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