Nokia’s social media veteran in search of killer brand

I was standing on a burning platform and jumped into the North Sea. Well, I was pushed, but I screamed “CANNONBALL!!!”

Nine incredible years with the greatest brand that ever existed and most talented individuals imaginable. I’ve dodged the layoff-reaper many times before and am very saddened to see my number finally come up.

I’m very proud of my accomplishments at Nokia. As editor-in-chief I took Nokia’s official blog from nothing to over one million uniques per month in five languages, making it the third most read corporate blog on the internet. As a digital marketer I was the madman behind such innovative viral campaigns as WidSets Pets, OpenAtOwnRisk AKA “the weirdest video ever”, and Design by Community where our readers collectively designed a phone. As a communications manager I was often up to the wee hours of the morning personally responding to Nokia fans on Twitter and Facebook when major, and often difficult, announcements were made such as the changes in strategy, CEO, or ironically, layoffs.

And after eight years at Nokia’s headquarters in Finland I was sent to their new US headquarters in Silicon Valley to head up social media for North America and launch the Lumia 900, which has been extremely successful. Nokia is an open, transparent, and social company, and I feel I played an important role in making this happen.

My social strategy has always been “content is king”. I treat our social spaces like publications rather blogs, handles, or accounts. I take great pride in the effort we put into investigative long-form journalism in our blog, the personal engagement to each of our fans and foes alike, and the passion each of our social editors give every hour.

Nokia social media isn’t corporate, it’s human.

And it’s in very good hands with talented people like Conversations editor Jason Harris, editor-in-chief Heidi Lemmetyinen, social gurus Tom Messet, Craig Hepburn, Elisa Hautaniemi, and all the brilliant people at Republic Publishing, as well as gifted marketers like Felicia Trujillo and Carol Soriano, PR gurus Keith Nowack and Doug Dawson, and Head of North American Marketing Valerie Buckingham who is the force behind the gutsy Smartphone Beta Test. And I can’t forget the very smart and down-to-earth EVP of Sales and Marketing Chris Weber, and of course the visionary and genius who is Stephen Elop.

I’m about to depart into some very unfamiliar territory as I’ve been dedicating my life to Nokia ever since leaving school. I’m looking for another killer brand who live and breath social media and want to take it to the next level. I’m a young guy with international flair, great sense of humor, and a passion burning in my belly.

I’m searching for fun group of people who share my passions, and would be humbled if you would explore my site, check out my resumé, connect with me on LinkedIn, stalk me on Facebook, read my blog, or laugh at my bad jokes on Twitter. Until then I’ll be continue work on my next book – this time I’m tackling marketing, social media, and business life, but it will of course include my dark comedic twists. My first book, “How to Marry a Finnish Girl” from Gummerus Publishers has been a huge hit, and I’ve been aching to dive back into writing.

It’s been a very sad day for me, I’m trying to hold back the tears as I write this. I’ll miss seeing so many amazing colleagues and hanging out with Nokia fans at events and online. While I’ll no longer be at official capacity, I’ll always be an ambassador for Nokia. I guess I’ll have to enjoy Nokia’s continued comeback from the stands instead of on the field. Cause ain’t nuttin’ sexier than a Nokia and none smoother than Windows Phone, baby.

Nokia is so blessed to have the best fans on the globe, and I am so blessed to have had Nokia. Love you Nokia colleagues and Nokia fans forever!!

Now off to the bar for some much deserved shots! 🙂

Nokia and Microsoft announce their partnership – I interview Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer


Hey look, it’s me introducing Nokia’s newest phone!

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  • You’ll be missed Phil! Good luck, and wherever you land, they will be better for having you!

  • Ready sad news, I am a great Nokia fan and will really miss your input to the community and wish you all the best in the future, which I’m sure you’ll make a massive success of. All the best and hope to catch you on the www in the future

  • That visionary genius took not just your job but also brought your favorite company (mine too) right to the edge of a cliff. Truth be told, the platform was once hot, but it’s burning now. WP platform that is.

  • Phil –

    I’m really sorry the reaper finally caught you! Best of luck in your next move which I am certain will be even more exciting. You’ve got a ton to offer a smart brand!


  • What the heck? We only crossed paths briefly but I have huge admiration for what you did at Nokia. A large part of why I signed on there was on the basis of you and Charlie Schock’s work. Rock on and blast off and let me know of there’s anything I can do to help you land on your feet – double-dismount!

  • Hi Phil,

    First off sorry to hear about your getting laid off, as you have been on a roll the last few years starting with Conversations and many of the campaigns you have led.

    Also, I loved your comment ( over at the Verge as you so marvelously sum up what I consider to be one of your great strengths: realness.

    While others may cover stuff up and be full of it, you are real and are willing to be real in public even at your own expense, which is a rarity amongst marketing humans and social media tweeps who generally tend blow lots of smoke & hot air.

    Companies reading this: Hire Phil.


  • hey Phil.. sorry to hear that you were “released” to the masses. Its a sad day for Nokia to see one of their best leave. Wishing you and Anja all the best of luck and keep in touch next time you are in Finland!!! my number is the same and will remain the same!

  • I’m confused. They sent you to America to lead the launch of the Lumia 900, which according to you was “successful”, yet they still decided to let you go.

    There’s got to be something more to this story …

    Email me in private if you want.

  • Phil, don’t be sad about losing a position with Nokia. Be proud of all you have accomplished!
    I was in this same position exactly 2 years ago after just losing my job and struggling to get a small business off the ground. What got me though it was the people around me and knowing they were there and how fortunate I was to have them.

    I still remember walking into Nokia House to meet yourself and Heidi and how impressed I was at your level of professionalism when I left there after our meeting. And your name always comes into my head every time I drive by there in Espoo.
    And though my contribution to the Conversations blog, however small, was a contribution nonetheless because of an opportunity you gave me. I’m forever thankful for that opportunity.
    So Phil, Now you live in California. What a great place to be! Go and take Anja by the hand and Oggie by the leash and go for a nice long walk and a Starbucks and celebrate 9 years of wonderful achievements!


  • Elop – visionary and genius? Seriously?

    It’s his total mismanagement of Nokia since his burning platform memo – dumping the Symbian cash cow before he had anything to replace it with, only for that also to be a dead-end disaster – that has resulted in you and many, many others losing their jobs.

    How the hell can you call him a visionary and genius, unless you are being sarcastic?

  • Thanks for your work on Nokia conversations over the years. There have definitely been days where i didn’t envy your job, especially around feb11 when every other management statement seemed to make your job harder. Having said that, i bet more often than not, it was a blast. Either way, i always appreciated seeing conversations writers and editors gettiing involved and replying as best as you could.

    Anyway. Good luck with your job hunt – i’m sure it will be a short one.

  • Sad times.

    But I hope this serves as the springboard into bigger and better things as you so obviously deserve. Best of luck chap, if I hear of anything I’ll holla.

    A fantastic farewell post dude, nicely done.

  • Greetings from Alaska! Your creativity and enthusiasm are definitely missed! I spent over a decade, right after school with Nokia, before taking up on some adventures on The Last Frontier, and wherever the life might take me….. and although it has been almost three years since I took the huge step, I still miss awesome colleagues and extraordinary, positive attitude. Cheers!

  • Sorry to hear you that, and the 39,999 others, have to go and I understand that you’re grateful for your time with Nokia and trying to stay positive, but by which measuring stick do you call the launch of Lumia 900 extremely successful? Seriously now.

  • Clearly you need to update the masthead on your site to reflect your new reality. 🙂

    I am glad I got to meet you and have no doubt you will find the next “killer brand” to work your social media magic with.

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