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How to get into PR: #PathToPR

Oh, hello! I’m Stef, one of the Account Executives at Dynamo and I’m here to tell you a bit about how I ended up in PR.

Growing up in Romania, most of my school years were spent focusing on maths and science. However, as much as I enjoyed the structure and logic behind those subjects, I never really felt like they would turn into career options for me. From an early age, my biggest side passions were reading and learning English, so I tried to find ways to incorporate that into my future job. Step one was deciding as early as year nine that I would go to university in the UK and then spending the next couple of years slowly wearing my parents down with arguments and other people’s success stories until they allowed – even encouraged – me to do so.

Step two was deciding on what course I would pursue, a decision I wish I could say was a result of thoughtful research and introspection. It was not. I spent year nine as part of a team organising a local theatre festival, in their media and communication division, which was tasked with promoting the event in the local press. I loved every minute of the experience, but the deciding moment that made me see this as a career option was an enthusiastically organised press conference, where no journalists showed up. Amidst the obvious disappointment, I found myself wanting to understand where we went wrong in our communication with the press and curious about the inner workings of the media. And the rest is history!

Step three was starting my Communications and Media degree at the University of Leeds, where I got my first contact with the immensely varied field of communications. I spent the following three years trying to sample as much of it as possible, both academically and professionally, through various part-time jobs in the University Press Office or market research agencies (yes, for a while, I was one of those people calling you for feedback on your most recent purchase). With a degree and some experience under my belt, I found a job in corporate communications and public affairs, where I was lucky enough to feel like I was receiving a second education in communications due to the sheer volume and variety of skills and responsibilities involved.

Remember when I mentioned my big passions as a kid were reading and learning English? This may come as a shock, but I loved learning and school in general, which has continued into adulthood. After a year and a half in my corporate communications job, I decided I wanted to understand more about the three main areas of communications that interested me the most, which lead on to step four: a Master’s Degree in Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing at Goldsmiths, University of London. It was an intense but brilliantly challenging year, followed by an equally brilliant internship where I got to work on one of the best tech conferences around, TechCrunch Disrupt.

After that, joining Dynamo and coming into tech PR felt like a natural (fifth) step for me. Six months later, I am amazed by the amount I’ve learned already and how much there is still left to do in the future. In fact, these are the key reasons why I enjoy working in PR – the variety and fast pace of the job which guarantees that no two days will look the same, whilst safe in the knowledge that there will always be something new to learn.

stefanie.ailioaie
Categories: Culture, General, New Hires

Dynamo Ascend To Mid-Size Agency Win

 

For us, this was a particularly special award win. Not only are the CIPR’s one of the most reputable awards in the industry but this year we were presented with the Outstanding Mid-Sized Agency Award, a noble step-up to recent years’ nominations of small agency awards. It’s a terrific achievement and we’re proud to reach this position in the industry for the first time. Being recognised for our work, opening up new and exciting areas and carving our niche within crowdfunding, technology and diversity.

The awards night itself also stood out from the rest – dodgems and a ferris wheel were part of the evening’s entertainment in addition to the usual photobooths and prosecco flowing dinners. Whilst this award was of particular importance to us, we still knew the importance of frantically bumping into colleagues on the dodgems arcade – no HR violations of course.

For us, this award highlights staff’s creative flair for each campaign worked on over the last year as well as their continued efforts and valued relationships with clients. We pride ourselves on disruption and progression and this win represents just that.

A big thank you to everyone at Dynamo for their dedication and hard work, and to the CIPR judges for choosing us as Outstanding Mid-Sized Agency of The Year.

We literally sprinted to the stage just in time to collect our award. Alan from the National Lottery even gave us credit for being good runners too. Here’s the video:

Rachael Sanders
Rachael Sanders
Categories: Awards, General, US

Dynamo wins Best Technology PR company… for second year running!

Dynamo wins best technology PR agency

We’re delighted that we’ve done it again. At one of the industry’s biggest and most respected awards ceremonies, Dynamo was up against 10 of the biggest and best technology PR companies, but walked on stage to pick up the coveted gold award for our work within the technology PR sector.

This is a testament to the way we work, as much as the work we do.

We’ve built up world class expertise in sectors including edutech, 3D printing, AI and ML – from early work with clients like SwiftKey, through to more recent clients that are breaking technology barriers like Speechmatics. We’ve opened up an office in Silicon Valley to better support our North American clients, and help with crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

And whilst our creativity has also won awards (the successful hijacking of the Rio Olympics in the Athletes Abstinence campaign for instance), it’s the way we work that clients also value.

We have a clear desire to influence the wider PR community through the adoption of modern, forward-thinking policies. 2016 saw our efforts reach a new high with the public release of the agency’s wage gap, the introduction of a Diversity Working Group, and even having some of the largest agencies in world consult senior management on how to implement best in class working practices.

Thank you to all our staff, and our clients, and the judges for picking us once again as Technology PR agency of the year.

Paul Cockerton
Paul Cockerton
Categories: Awards, Crowdfunding

Path to PR – Aimee Lee

Hello everyone, I’m Aimee and the newest Junior Account Executive for the Dynamo US office. I wanted to take the time to share my journey to PR and Dynamo!

During my senior year of high school, I spent my time applying as a Pre-Law major. I chose to attend Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; however, I changed my major from Pre-Law to Elementary Education as I had externship during my last semester of senior year teaching at an elementary school.

After two years of attending Purdue, I spent nine months in South Korea teaching English and SAT Writing. I decided teaching was not for me and wanted to pursue a career in law again. I knew that law school was very expensive and decided to join the U.S. Army, so they can pay for law school once my contract was complete. I joined as a Paralegal Specialist so that I would be able to work in the field of law.

After four years of active duty and speaking with my mentors, I realized that my values and personality did not necessarily fit being a lawyer. Family time is extremely important to me and working in an 80+ hours job was not something that seemed fulfilling nor appealing to me. My mentor asked me if I had thought about another job other than being a lawyer. As I replied with working in PR, she got excited and responded with, “That would be a perfect job for you”.

In June of 2014, my contract finished and I moved to San Francisco where I attended City College of San Francisco before I could transfer to a four-year university to major in Public Relations or Communications. After one year of attending CCSF, I applied to The Art Institute of California-San Francisco, since they had an Advertising major. I really liked their academic program as they were more hands-on and could give me more of a real-world experience.

In 2016, I started looking for PR internships to start my career track and development. In February of 2016, I was hired as a PR intern by Big Picture PR, a consumer and fashion boutique agency. I was promoted to their Social Media Specialist and Business Development Associate in May of 2016. I was also hired as a PR Coordinator by Smitten Communications, a consumer tech agency in May of 2016.

In December of 2016, I applied to Dynamo PR after hearing about the agency from Big Picture PR. I was super eager and anxious about getting the job as everything I heard during the interview intrigued me.

Since working at Dynamo, I feel that I am in the right path towards my PR career and development. I am absolutely enjoying the experiences I am having and learning along the way. I wrote my first press release here and got Hermione Granger’s wand because of it!! I am eager to see what the future and Dynamo has in store for me!

Aimee Lee
Aimee Lee
Categories: General

Our MWC 2017 predictions

MWC is one of the biggest shows of the year. It’s the time when the big device makers come together in Barcelona to one up each other with their latest shiny black rectangles.

In recent years, announcements have been spread out either side of the show to avoid the huge volume of news and get some clear air. So, whilst Samsung’s S8 is coming post show and LG’s G6 has already peaked its head out from behind the curtains, there’s still loads to see.

Here’s what we expect to see, want to see and what we think has no chance of making an appearance.

A sure thing:

We’ve already seen LG’s G6. It’s touting an unusually tall screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio, expect to find out why at their conference on February 26th.

Sony are announcing a whole suite of devices, covering everything from budget phones through to top spec flagships like the Xperia XZ.

Huawei too will be updating their flagship P9, we assume P10? Last year they focused on a unique Leica camera that combines a B&W camera with a colour shooter for better photos. The P10 will push this even further.

Motorola are also announcing some new devices with a press conference scheduled for the Sunday before the show.

My personal favourite is that we’re expecting new Nokia phones! Specifically, an Android flagship with some strong specs that they (and I) hope can bring them back to the fore.

Hoping for:

Bendy phones. Every year someone shows off a new foldable screen prototype, this year we want to see someone be mad enough to put it into a real phone.

More Daydream. Right now, there are only two devices for Google’s Daydream platform – the Pixel and Moto Z. We’d love to see some more to go alongside the super comfy view headset.

A phone with decent battery life. It’s been said by enough tech reporters, but we’d love to see someone ship a phone that doesn’t sacrifice battery life to be just a bit thinner. Who can do an Apple and have the ‘courage’ to do that?

Don’t expect:

Modular devices. I think we can all agree that modular devices aren’t a goer. The G5’s strange removable bottom panel has already been confirmed to be removed from the G6. If Motorola’s Z is seeing a similar pick up of its accessories, we think it might be bye bye Moto for the Moto Mods platform.

Micro USB ports. It’s all about USB C now, and for any manufacturer to release a flagship with the old port would just be embarrassing.

Most importantly, don’t expect to get away with not eating ham. Iberico for days in Barca. It looks to be an exciting show; we’ll check in again in a couple of weeks and see just how right we were.

Te veo en españa!

 


#DynamoDoes CES 2017

Ah, CES – another January, another batch of exciting tech, another return flight with broken bodies (but thankfully, not spirits).

Some things don’t change, but often the lineup of Dynamo attendees does – this time, it was Heather and myself taking up the challenge of dazzling lights and sleepless nights.

Here’s our highlights from the show this year – sadly, getting sprayed with champagne by Lil’ John at Hakkasan didn’t quite make the cut, mostly because Heather is intent on sending him a dry cleaning bill…

Concept Cars

The Mercedes Benz EQ concept car

Top billing had to be, much like 2016, automotive tech. CES has, for the last couple of years, been touted to overtake industry events such the Detroit Auto Show, and 2017 was seen by many as that tipping point. NVIDIA were the stars of the show here, making waves with their partnership with Mercedes on the concept car EQ (pictured), which drew crowds thanks to its sophisticated blend of electro wizardry and aesthetics.

NVIDIA also showcased their partnership with Audi, and revealed their joint commitment to delivering a self-driving car by 2020, complete with fully integrated AI and facial recognition. With many other companies reluctant to commit to a delivery date for their concepts, this partnership boldly revealing such a close date has showed us that the true ‘cars of the future’ are much closer than previously imagined.

Homer, you were ahead of your time, buddy.

World’s Fair

This year saw a much more global feel to previous shows, with 41% of companies exhibiting hailing from China. In addition, this year all Chinese companies weren’t confined to a specific section of the show floor, but rather all booths were intermingled. Also, CES 2017 saw a large influx of French companies, with around 240 hardware companies from the region showing their wares, and actually making up a third of the population of Eureka Park. The trend of growing international diversity year on year at the show is a fascinating development, and from an agency perspective, certainly creates ‘areas to watch’ in terms of innovation and exciting new businesses.

Eureka Park

Although the LVCC played host to the household names and multi-million dollar projects, Eureka Park was, personally, the most exciting part of the show. Cool new ideas – some frivolous, some with potentially useful global impact – were in abundance, with smaller, eager teams excited to show off their game-changing concepts. The techniques each company adopted (in some or all cases) in order to stand out as the next big thing can be broken down into simple categories:

  1. Pushing the capabilities of a current technology e.g. enhanced graphics, improved UI, use of peripherals (particularly in VR, with the use of haptics)
  2. Modifying a current technology to produce different user cases, and subsequently, our understanding of said technologies’ potential eg. a fireplace controlled by music – music driven objects are nothing new, but to be seen with fire was quite the thing, and certainly got us thinking about more capabilities of sound-driven technology
  3. Creating a visual, product driven solution to a previously nebulous concept/software driven project, thus driving forward consumer understanding – a great example of this is in the below picture, which we’ll leave you with. I jumped out of my skin when I saw this 3D face scanning booth (and the people at the booth got a good laugh at my expense).

Proving that heads on spikes that can be futuristic as well as historical.

We all know about face scanning, but to see a very realistic head on a spike is both disconcerting and intriguing – especially when you realise the model it’s based on (and the creator) is there watching your reaction! He was nice enough to pose for a photo though, so I didn’t feel completely embarrassed.

So we’re already looking forward to next year’s show now, and whether we’ll be driving more underwater 4K cameras, or learning more about pyjamas that energise you while you sleep, I’m confident that whichever capacity we’ll be attending in, and whoever we’re working with, it’ll certainly be memorable (apart from the blurry evening parties bit).


Dynamo wins Gold for PRWeek’s Best Places to Work

 

In what is a great start to 2017, we’re thrilled to have been picked as the best agency to work for in the UK, in PRWeek’s Best Places to Work (under 30 employee’s category). The judges praised our approach to diversity, training and flexible working – all things we strive to be leaders in. We were the first agency in the UK to publish our gender pay gap, as well as the first to offer our employees unlimited holidays.

We have huge respect for the work of Third City and Manifest, the two other agencies shortlisted, and we’re proud to be recognised amongst them.

For the full story, visit PRWeek here.

Dan O'Connor
Dan O'Connor
Categories: Awards, Culture, tags: ,

The year in pictures #Dynamo2016

2016 was another busy year for us here at Dynamo PR. Not only did we celebrate our fifth birthday, but we also launched our US office, located in Redwood City, California.

It was also an eventful year for our clients. There’s no way we could fit all of the launches, campaigns and events into one blog post, but here is a snapshot of the past 12 months at Dynamo HQ.

We have been racking up those air miles. Not only did we attend CES, MWC and IFA, but we also hopped on the plane to Austin to support Makeblock at SXSW.

We helped Adam & Eve with a winning campaign based on the timely research into athlete abstinence, which was released during the Olympics.

Detailed view of a sprinter in the starting blocks

Our very own Lewis Durkin had the most unusual afternoon of 2016 when he and Duncan James of the Blue fame took Duncan’s adorable pooch for a walk and a photo shoot – all for Gala Bingo’s “UK’s favourite dog walk” campaign.

13912617_10154266064517534_8191601068894746373_n

Let’s not forget about crowdfunding. We helped launch a myriad of exciting campaigns, including ZapBox, a $30 mixed reality headset from Zappar.

boy-with-mars-probe

We introduced #DynamoDoes. What does Dynamo do, you might be wondering? Well, every third Friday of the month we get together to tuck into a feast of tapas, Chinese food, curries – you name it. It’s not all just food though, because #DynamoDoes get quite adventurous as well. For example, we spent an evening learning free-running with the one and only Sebastien Foucan.

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And last but certainly not least is the launch of Dynamo Silicon Valley.

usa

Don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you’d like to discuss how we could work together next year!

Happy holidays from the Dynamo team!

Daria Gerasimova
Daria Gerasimova
Categories: General

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