All-New Fiesta and Me

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And Finally // Engage

I couldn’t let you go without considering the whole trip I’ve just been on with my HR goggles on.

As I’ve mentioned before, this is the first time that my employer has offered employee places on a product launch event (other than the teams of employees who make them happen of course!).


This year three teams of six people from the UK, Germany and Spain were selected to have exactly the adventure I’ve just been on – or not exactly the same because I came away feeling that everyone had got something different out of the experience, in part dependent on what they brought to it.

You already know I’m no petrolhead. I’m about the experience, and the feelings. So for me this was about engaging with our product a little more and understanding more about what our Company does.

I’m already proud of what we do; and in comparison to my experiences working with other companies I’ve worked in, the tangibility of what we strive to produce is intoxicating – seeing something you’ve had a part in, however small, on every road in the country feels GOOD.


The simplified definition of engagement I prefer is an environment where you are fully involved and interested in your work, and inspired to do your best.

Every box there was ticked – for me I felt like part of a team, like my participation was valued, and I was inspired to think differently and more positively about what we do and how we do it. I was proud of my Company. It was also a lot of fun, and fun is something I’m always interested in!

For the employer I would expect to see behaviours empowering (trusting), setting expectations regarding principles and values, and focusing on satisfaction of both internal and external customers.

Talking to my colleagues we certainly all felt an expectation to work hard in recognition of the trust placed in us. This was a luxurious ‘office’, don’t get me wrong, but even though it was never articulated, we all naturally assumed a position of wanting to be worthy of the experience, to justify the Company’s trust and investment in us, and hopefully pave the way with great feedback for future events for other employees (and maybe us again!).

Although it would be hard to scale this, with 13,000 employees in the UK alone, I feel this experience worked really well as an illustration of employee engagement. Not one colleague I talked to came away without an improved view and enthusiasm for the Company. That’s got to be a good return!

There were a few elements we felt would improve the experience further – we spent a lot of the time in our own employee huddle and internal networking was great, and new friendships formed. However, while we would not want to get in the way of the ‘real work’ being undertaken by the journalists attending the event, when we did get to spend time with them over lunch on the second day it was incredibly interesting to hear about that side of things, so if I could tweak one thing I would find a way to integrate the employees with the journalists a little more. Certainly they mentioned to us that no other manufacturer had invited employees to attend in this way before…

Anyway I’ll leave the discussion for now, and reward you for all your attention with a few more of my favourite photographs…


All photos since we hit Spain (apart from the ones with me in them!) are by me, and copyright retained by me. The on-the-go posts were brought to you by the magic that is a Flashair SD card, which enabled me to use my DSLR as much as possible, and wirelessly transfer the files to my smartphone for blogging. Recommended, even if you’re not blogging about Fiestas!

Thank you to everyone who has followed my All New Fiesta Adventure, on here and on Social Media. Hopefully I’ve given a new perspective on these beautiful new cars, although I accept I also have friends and followers who will be glad when I’m just posting about my kids again…

I’ve been taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta

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Milano Grigio // Vignale 1.0 Ecoboost

I wasn’t really sure about the colour – I know it’s a real cliche that a woman cares about the colour of her car but when I drive my car is an extension of me, my identity, my presence.

To feel confident I need to feel confident in my car – in the safety and technical prowess (when I put my foot down I want to know there’s something to give me) but also in how I am represented on the road. So while I was a little unsure of the colour at first, like most of the gorgeous shades in the Fiesta palette the richness and depth grew on me by the end of our drive…

With Vignale the key is Detail. Every stitch in the right place. There were so many little details to discover…


I would say the extra details are added judiciously rather than everywhere – a cushion of leather *just* where your elbow rests, or a smooth glossiness where your hand will glide. It’s not overdone, it’s more of a flavour, a note of richness like a bass note of perfume.

The B&O Play system we’ve been banging (pun intended) on about is standard here.

The openable panoramic glass roof is in two parts, each with their own blind. The openable section is the front, and is smoothly operated. The opening is big enough that you could stand up and throw your arms in the air… if it was safe to do so of course!

My colleagues agreed that when you’ve driven Vignale, you can appreciate the perhaps otherwise intangible quality of the car.

Once again, because we could, and because we wanted to put off the moment when we had to hand the keys back, we stopped for photographs. In a castle. As you do…


I’ve been taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta

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Blue Wave // Titanium 1.5 Diesel

You never forget your first. Well this beautiful, shimmering, sometimes bright blue, sometimes a turquoise ocean greeny hue, was the very first car I’d ever driven abroad. The very first LHD car.

I stalled it, and I drove on the other side of the road, but I didn’t hit anything…

Here as promised are some arty detail shots of my favourite curves of the car.


My own car is a Titanium spec, and so I felt right at home. I’ve mentioned before how a 3dr isn’t suited for me as a shorty in terms of seatbelt shenanigans, but I was instantly at ease knowing that if I veered out of lane the lane keeping tech would alert me; if I went too fast or in the wrong gear, the car would gently give me a nudge, and that the blind spot sensors would get me out of any mirror flusters. The B&O Play system was the icing on the cake…


Driving the most lovely roads from Valladolid to our hotel in Valbuena de Duero was an absolute pleasure. In fact the only reason I preferred being a passenger in this little beauty was because that gave me more opportunity to scout out locations to make this gorgeous finish pop.


There are other bloggers who can tell you more about the technical specs of the car, I can only say how it made me feel… windy as it was, this selfie says it all…


I’ve been taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta

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Turn the Airways Blue // Wake Me Up

So I’m back in the UK after my first product launch event (please not my last!).

As I’m heading into work today, to a place that is certainly NOT Northern Spain, I’m mindful of this research from Spotify and Ford earlier in the week, that despite my Love of Loud, a melancholy song may actually be the best way to ease into your morning, showing us “that the morning commute is an important transitional time”.

According to Amy Belfi, a cognitive neuroscientist from New York University who is an expert on the effects of music on the brain, “What was particularly intriguing was that far from having to be ‘happy’ songs those most likely to have an uplifting effect could equally be brooding and melancholic. Of course, ‘sad’ songs can actually make us feel good about ourselves. They may remind us, for example, of difficult experiences that we have overcome and learned from.”

I’ll be posting my final posts soon, so for now I’m listening to Green Day, Wake Me Up When September Ends, and taking time to reflect…


I’ve been taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta


Vignale // whoa-oh

Another post just to share a couple of my favourite ‘posed’ shots from day 2. To remind you we drove a Milano Grigio Fiesta Vignale 1.0 Ecoboost.

It had been raining, so no lying in the fields today, but we found a castle to act as an appropriate background for a car with this kind of class…

I’ll be doing a full details post on each of the two cars I had during the event, but hopefully these whet your appetite for now!

I’ve been taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta

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Ground Control // A Fibreglass Cow

It’s has been a looooong time since I’ve flown anywhere on my own.

I recommend it.

After our welcome from hosts Chris Muers, Product Marketing Manager, Chris Rushton, Fiesta Marketing Manager and Oliver Rowe, Public Affairs Manager, and a getting-to-know-you bacon roll for the Fellowship in the lounge, we boarded our private charter plane and were off…

As I listened to the shop-talk from the journalists around me (including the story of the fibreglass cow which I wish I’d heard more than the end of…), I settled back.

This is the first time, to my knowledge, that the Company has sent ‘tame’ employees on a product launch and having represented the Marketing & Sales team in my HR role for a number of years I can see why the opportunity was something people often wistfully mentioned.

Lunch was served, chicken with quails egg and peppers, gorgeous goats cheese and French bread, a light brownie.

None of it shared, bargained or swapped, no need to cast around to check that everyone has something they want and won’t cry because it’s on their plate.

No need to upend everything for an urgent toilet visit with a child who swore blind they didn’t need a wee five minutes ago.

A seat for my bag.

Above the clouds.


Before I came out, I watched a couple of YouTube videos describing what going on a trip like this is like. I’m struck by one of the journalists very honestly saying that while the trips can (sometimes!) be pretty luxurious, it’s not about the company trying to curry favour or ‘buy’ a good review, more putting the journalists in a healthy state of mind and body to do a review justice. I think that sounds fair, don’t you?

While on the plane, plenty of journalists beavered away at their press packs and laptops on the plane, working through the specifications, preparing a structure.

I wonder how many pre-prepared paragraphs will be blown away when we get to the cars..?

I sincerely hope we do a good enough job while we are here to ensure the Company offers this again (and I already hope I can be part of the team again one day too!).

Now our descent… the adventure begins in earnest…

I’m taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta

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Buckle Up // In-flight Movies

Sit back, hog the armrest, and settle into some in-flight entertainment…

or maybe:

I’m going to be up in the skies very soon…

I’m taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta