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26 September 2013: The Financial Times has appointed Stacy-Marie Ishmael (@s_m_i) as its vice president of communities, a newly created role focusing on growing reader engagement and deepening the relationship with its audience across an increasing number of channels.
Ishmael’s appointment comes as the FT’s global social media community has grown to reach more than five million people worldwide and interaction and content sharing between readers is at an all-time high. FT.com now displays the ‘best comments from our readers’ on the homepage, and users can choose to view ‘most commented’ articles. Reader contributions also feature increasingly in the editorial offering: the FT asked its Facebook fans in Brazil about their views on the protests in the country and featured the comments in an FT.com piece, and voters in Germany’s election were encouraged to share their views in a poll for an FT.com blog post this month.
Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com, said: “The FT’s agenda-setting journalism and commentary has sparked conversation and debate for 125 years. Digital innovation has now enabled us to surface those conversations on a global scale and create richer reader experiences and opportunities for connection. Stacy-Marie brings a wealth of expertise in building and engaging global communities, and her appointment will ensure we continue to develop and expand our offering while making the most of new technologies.”
Stacy-Marie Ishmael said: “This role demonstrates the FT’s commitment to engaging with its audience across platforms and channels, online and offline. I’m honoured to use my editorial, social and technical experience to work across the company and develop products and initiatives that will delight FT readers around the world.”
Most recently, Ishmael was the product manager at Percolate Industries Inc, a dynamic technology start-up based in New York. She is also a part-time visiting lecturer at Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has a long history with the FT, first joining in 2006. Ishmael established the New York bureau of FT Alphaville, the award-winning financial blog, and co-founded and served as the editor of FT Tilt. In 2013, she was named in Business Insider’s 30 Most Important Women Under 30 In Tech.
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The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of more than 600,000 (Deloitte assured, Q2 2013). Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving more than a third of FT.com traffic and a quarter of digital subscriptions. FT education products now serve 25 of the world’s top 50 business schools.