Interview with Anna Gough-Zgadzaj, Co-Founder/Marketing Director at Purr Media

Hi Anna, could you introduce yourself?

Hi! My name is Anna, I come from a lovely city called Wroclaw in Poland, but have been living and working abroad for the last 10 years – first in England, then Scotland, and now in Paris.

I am a digital marketer with background in international project management, training and non-for-profit organizations – which probably explains why I am so strongly drawn to the social dimension of digital media.

My involvement in digital marketing started in 2007 when working at a marketing communications agency in Edinburgh. I then partnered with a web designer and developer to cofound a boutique digital agency, PurrMedia and since then have been fully immersed in this world, undergoing what I call “intensive geekification”.

I currently work as Project Manager for TCS Digital World and study for my Diploma in Digital Marketing at IDM in London. I also act as Regional Director of techMAP Paris, building a local techMAP community here.

What's your point of view about the intersection between human potential and social technologies today? In the future?

I think it all comes down to people behind it and their values. Those with more collaborative disposition ‘get it’ and make the best use of the technologies to achieve great things.

We can already see many examples of how amazing the results can be when human potential and social technologies come together, how they can really make a difference - be it in a business or social environment. This of course provided we use social media beyond the popularity contest (how many followers I have) or yet another vehicle for self-promotion.

Having worked on digital projects in various countries I have the opportunity to observe how these technologies are used differently by companies and individuals in the UK or US, in my native Poland and now in France and Belgium.

It is fascinating to see how both my personal and professional connections, including those who are ‘trained’ digital communicators, can use Facebook or Twitter in a very different way depending on where they are from.

Some of these differences in how we adopt the very same tools can be attributed to different mentality and culture – which just proves there is no ‘off the shelf’ solution, that it is all about what the user makes it to be. Ultimately it is not about the technology or tools, but about the person.

Back to your question, I see social technologies giving people more means to express themselves and facilitating communication, helping amplify their message and deliver it effortlessly across geographical borders – and this is a great thing.

I love the potential of collaboration it opens, how it facilitates global exchanges of ideas, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, virtual co-working. But we cannot cook anything with all those great tools if the main ingredient - the ‘human potential’ with the ideas, the values, the passion and the talent – is missing.

As for the future, I really hope that very soon the conversation will move away from all the hype around social media among the enthusiasts and evangelists, and it will just become the way we do things - whether we work in marketing, digital media or any other discipline. That there will be no need to discuss social media separately (well, maybe with the exception of the academic circles ;-)), they will just be integral part of what we do - maybe even to the extent when the entire term ‘social media’ will become redundant as suggested by John Grant (one of my favourite marketers) on his blog.

You're currently launching TechMap Paris. Could you tell us a bit about the concept? Who should attend these events and how to get involved?

Yes, we ran our first Paris event as part of Social Media Week Paris programme on 8th February.

We had some fantastic speakers talking about their personal experiences with social media and an amazing, enthusiastic group of people who showed up (you can read a post about the launch event here. Overall it was a great success, we got some very positive feedback and I am really excited to continue developing this initiative and hopefully watch techMAP Paris grow into a strong and active community!

The concept of techMAP itself was born from the desire to bring together thought leaders from across the world to collaborate, challenge industry thinking and re-imagine the role of technology in communications. The real-life and online techMAP community was launched last September and since then it has been growing steadily with already established networks and regular events in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, and since February – Calgary and Paris (with more cities waiting in the pipeline!). The real-life monthly meetups are what we call “the beating heart of techMAP” – happening simultaneously in different cities across the globe they gather professionals and enthusiasts who come together to discuss crowdsourced topics, learn from each other, exchange ideas, socialize – and share these experiences and learnings with the international network.

The Paris events are open to anyone interested in developing and sharing their knowledge on the intersection of technology, marketing, advertising and PR, and how the digital (r)evolution influences our lives.

It is not just for marketing, PR and advertising professionals, we hope to attract participants from different sectors to learn and evolve with us. In future we plan to experiment with events in various formats and explore variety of topics to make sure we can create something of real value for the members of techMAP Paris community.

As we are taking our first steps in Paris, we invite techMAP members to actively participate in shaping the future of the group. To get involved simply join us on Meetup : or engage online via Facebook, Twitter or on

What are your social media presences? How do you manage them?

I joke that my social media presences are a little bit ‘schizophrenic’: I have profiles on most social networks as Anna Gough-Zgadzaj or @goracainparis, a digital marketer interested in social issues, but in my native Poland I am also known to some as just ‘Goraca’ the author of ‘Paryz na Goraco’ blog about Paris which I write under this nickname.

Day-to-day my main activity is on Twitter (which I love) and Facebook - though I try to keep the latter a little more private. I like the metaphor of Twitter being a cocktail party and Facebook a dinner party - only those whom I would be happy to invite to my house are among my Facebook contacts. Of course you will also find me on LinkedIn and I have set up an account in French on Viadeo, but please don’t check it yet ;-)

As a person who works in social media I have profiles on most of the ‘new shiny things’ (Quora, Foursquare, Jumo, Tumblr, Posterous, you name it) but it’s mainly to experience them as a digital marketer – some I grow to like, but if I used them all as regularly as I use Twitter I don’t think I would have time for anything else! My main project now is to start writing regularly on my personal blog ( which I plan to use as my ‘online portfolio’ and to learn to express my opinions in a little more than 140 characters!

I am also present on most Polish social media sites – but mainly active on (a ‘Polish Twitter’) and on the professional networking site where I manage two groups (‘Marketing for nonprofits’ and ‘Business without Borders’) and moderate a group about Paris.

Links to my profiles

In Polish


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