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Dynamo reveals its pay gap for second year running

This week the PRCA has struck a massive win for Gender equality in the PR industry by making it a requirement of its CMS standard for agencies to report their pay gap. You can read their full report here or blog post.

In 2016 we find it genuinely shocking that there exists such a large pay gap between male and female members of staff, even when they are in the exact same roles. The Fawcett Society says the overall gap for full-time workers in any industry is currently 13.9%. PRWeek has found in the PR industry that men overall earn £10,000 more than women in the same roles.

Dynamo has always been mindful of ensuring equal pay for equal work. In September 2015 we became one of the first (if not, the first) consultancy to report our pay gap. It was a statement of intent for our internal company culture, but we’ve always made great efforts to maintain high standards, implement best practice, and tried to be a trendsetter for the PR industry.

So one year on, where is our pay gap?

“Comparing like for like, in any particular job title role, on average men’s salaries are only 0.35% higher than women’s salaries at Dynamo PR”

This means that unlike the PR industry, where men overall earn £10,000 more than women in the same roles, at Dynamo men on average earn just £100 per year more than women.

This doesn’t necessarily indicate bias as we have salary bands for every role, and staff are at different levels of skills and experience within this band. As long as male staff are slightly more experienced than female staff in each job title this is an acceptable figure. This is a reduction in the pay gap from last year when it was 0.50%.

Secondly, we found:

“Overall, women’s salaries are 9.1% higher than men’s salaries”

This would normally indicate a significant bias towards pay for women, however we do currently have more women in senior roles than men, and given the near parity of salaries within job titles this is acceptable.

So there we are, one year on and we’re still keeping track. We don’t think we should be just one of a few agencies to report on pay gaps, so we want to say how proud we are to be members of the PRCA and part of an industry that is changing for the better.

Peter Bowles
Peter Bowles
Categories: Comment, Culture

#FuturePRoof, a crowdsourced best practice for PR

Around a year ago I attended the launch of the first edition of #FuturePRoof, and was impressed both by how many senior level practitioners were involved, as well as the wisdom of their advice and strategy on running, managing, and developing public relations and marketing. The book contained essential advice for anyone working in PR, and was widely read and shared.

Today we see the launch and release of the follow up, #FutureProof: Edition Two. It’s available on kindle or you can buy a hard copy.

I do have a personal interest in promoting it, as this time round I’ve contributed a chapter on best practice (aka top tips) in crowdfunding, but I think for anyone interested in public relations it’s a great read, informative and useful.

Thanks very much to the founder and editor, Sarah Hall, who crowdsourced 39 essays from luminaries all over the world for this outstanding edition.

In her words: “The success of #FuturePRoof shows that public relations practitioners are aware of the direction of travel and are no longer prepared for other disciplines to eat their lunch. Demand shows professionals want to close their competency gaps in order to provide strategic advice at management level.”

You can follow further conversations about the book with #FuturePRoof


How the PR Dynamos survived CES 2016

This was my first year attending CES, and as a PR who has previously helped clients plan for the show, I had heard all kinds of stories from people about the madness of CES. It definitely didn’t disappoint. CES 2016 was bigger than ever; more than 170,000 attendees (a stat provided by a very knowledgeable cabbie), a huge amount of automotive tech announcements, and a generous helping of virtual reality demos (including this).

Four Dynamos in total attended the show, and I was lucky enough to be front and centre on the booth of our client, Jide Technology, showing off Remix OS. For those who have never been or for those who are interested, here are a few tips/tricks/stories of how we survived and made a success of CES 2016.

Ellen, Senior Account Manager

Flat(ish) shoes, lip balm and Diet Coke – these are probably the most important things for me, in that order, whilst at CES. The show is spread out over several locations including the main convention centre and The Sands which is adjoined to The Venetian Hotel. You’ll be doing A LOT of walking over the three days of the show hence the flat(ish) shoes, and thanks to the air conditioning and desert air expect your skin to dry out so stock up on lip balm and moisturiser. The Diet Coke is because I don’t drink coffee and I need some caffeine after the long days and nights.

post-2016-ces-neeo

Other than that, I find it really useful to have plenty of time with the client, in this case NEEO, before the show kicks off so that they are comfortable with exactly what is going on, when and where. If your client doesn’t have a booth at CES but still wants to attend, I’d definitely recommend exhibiting at events like ShowStoppers or Pepcom within CES.

Finally, make sure you find the time to have fun and explore Vegas! CES can be intense so make the most of being in Las Vegas and check out the many hotels and shows.

Heather, Vice President of North America

Ellen’s definitely right about the chap stick, and as my Mom would say, make sure you drink lots of water. Again, this comes back to CES being held in the middle of the desert, and although you might have had a big night before, it’s likely dehydration that is causing the headache.

post-2016-ces-city-scape

About that big night before… it’s probably best if you try not to book briefings in the morning and also encourage your client to keep important business meetings for the afternoon. The likelihood of someone not turning up is very high while at CES, both because of big sponsored parties and late nights working.

Paul, Co-Founder and Co-CEO

During the day at the show, forget about sending any emails. If you’re trying to get in touch with someone, use an app like WeChat or WhatsApp – chances are most people use either one of these. Towards the end of the show, expect many meetings to be at best tired, at worst people simply won’t turn up so do take into your planning no-shows.

post-2016-ces-nvidia

Owen, Senior Account Executive

Preparation is always a key part of supporting a client who is attending CES and setting up journalist briefings in advance is one part of that. Though it’s not until you’ve waited in line for a taxi or shuttle bus for 30 minutes and ran to your next client meeting that you realise appointments quickly go out the window. Add this to the huge space that CES controls across Las Vegas and you’re left with a jumbled schedule. The key? Be flexible, and make sure your client can be too. If that fails, there’s always the excellent Monorail:

post-2016-ces-monorail

Oh and although phone signal is generally non-existent in the convention centres, bring a portable battery with you for those times when you are able to connect to free hotel Wi-Fi.

All in all, CES 2016 was a fantastic event to attend. It was a great opportunity to finally meet an international client whom I’d been working with for some time, to speak to a huge number of journalists, and to see some of the industry’s latest and greatest products.


Why equality matters at Dynamo

Today in PRWeek we’ve been quoted responding to questions about pay differentials in companies, following Government consultation about large companies publishing their gender pay gap in 2016.

It’s actually something that we’ve been looking at for a while here in Dynamo. When we launched the company in 2011, we wanted to create an amazing workplace where staff are valued, and paid, for their contribution to the company and its clients, according to their skills and expertise. Their sex, colour, gender, orientation or beliefs have no place in any salary negotiation, nor discussion and assessing promotion.

As owners of a rapidly growing business, we appreciate the strains and pressures that come with fast employee hires, but it’s good to check from time to time that despite this one continues to follow key principles – and in this place ensuring there’s no gender pay gap within a company.

So earlier this year, reading about the measures the Government wants to introduce, Dynamo decided to check our gender pay differentials, to make sure that we’re following best practice. Our leadership team (comprised 50% men / 50% women) were pleased with the two key results, that we publish here:

“Comparing like for like, in any particular job title role, on average men salaries are 0.5% higher than women’s salaries at Dynamo PR”

This doesn’t necessarily indicate bias as within any particular job title role as each role has a salary band, and within each band staff are at different levels. As long as male staff are slightly more experienced than female staff in each job title this is an acceptable figure.

“Overall, women’s salaries are 17% higher than male salaries”

This would normally indicate a significant bias towards pay for women, however we do currently have overall more women in senior roles than men, and given the near parity of salaries within job titles this is acceptable.

Why do these figures matter? We believe it doesn’t matter what you say, it’s what you do that counts. And this is just one measure of our having a great workplace environment where staff are rewarded for the right things, and making sure that bias and discrimination has no place in our company. Sure, we’ve won awards for being the best small PR company, and the best PR company to work for, but as we grow we’ll always regularly check key measures to ensure we’re growing appropriately.

And as we grow, there’s always more to learn, and develop, and achieve. As a male owned company, we’ve also been following with interest the UN #HeForShe gender equality campaign. This of course has a much wider remit than pay within small companies like ours, but none-the-less Peter Bowles and I, as the male owners and co-founders of Dynamo, fully support, and will continue to take positive action against gender discrimination.

Let us know your thoughts below, alternatively you can chat to us on Twitter or Facebook.

Paul Cockerton
Paul Cockerton
Categories: Comment, Culture, Knowledge

Mobile takeaways from #MWC2015

This week nearly 2,000 companies exhibited at Mobile World Congress, the annual shindig for all things Mobile which takes place in Barcelona every year. Dynamo had a team on the ground working and networking, and a team supporting from our UK HQ. Now that the doors are close, here are some of the top trends we spotted this year.

Flat pack your PR

This year’s surprise entrant was IKEA announcing a range of furniture with wireless charging, and Google announcing (in a limited form) they were now going to become (as well) a wireless carrier. Many of the news announcements had been predictable, but to get the best out of these events it’s good to allow some wiggle room and react on your feet with PR.

Super Sunday

Typically now, the day ‘before’ the show is one of the most important for PR as big brands try to take over the show by releasing before the noise of the show floor becomes too much. This year, Qualcomm made a mistake by trying to bus journos out to the F1 testing race course, and unfortunately most journos stayed closed to the Fira where most of the big events were happening.

Heavy Metal

Many Android phones look pretty similar but this year saw Samsung copying HTC’s unibody design and introducing a ‘curved’ phone. Anyone remember the Nokia banana phone? Anyway, the move away from cheap plastic into premium feeling phones is a good move for any smartphone company wanting to stay at the top table.

Wearables, Nearables and Hearables

MWC was as much about everything connected to mobiles, as the devices or networks themselves. Pebble announced a smart strap (beating Kickstarter records at the same time), and there were plenty of  3D printers, VR headsets and connected cars all making headlines. We love Huawei’s smartwatch which we think will give other manufacturers a run for their money.

Paul Cockerton
Paul Cockerton

It’s official, Dynamo is a great place to work

We’ve done well over the years with award-winning campaigns and team recognition here at Dynamo. But winning PRWeek’s accolade of being the best PR company to work for is a very special award, as it recognises the efforts that we’ve made to shape the company as we’ve grown up.

Whilst Dynamo is nearly four years old, it still feels like yesterday that we set the consultancy up – working in a hot desking environment and discussing what sort of company we wanted to build.

One thing for us was clear from the start. Bringing in great people would turn into amazing campaigns for clients, take Dynamo in exciting new directions and, most importantly, make the many hours we spend at work really fun. However we’d seen at many agencies that keeping great people can be incredibly difficult, and often can work out very expensive for the resource and time you spend replacing them if they leave. So one of our goals from the start has been not only to attract the right staff, but to build an agency where people can grow, develop, and stay.

Back in the early days, it was just the two founders setting direction and culture, but now with more than 20 staff we involve everyone in shaping the business and culture at Dynamo.

We had a weekend away in Copenhagen late last year, during which some staff came up with an analysis which said we should launch a new team. So we did, and have attracted great new clients as a result.

One of our staff joined us as she said we were very ‘Silicon Valley’, negotiating chocolate into her contract, which has evolved to us providing personalised contracts, something even Forbes has written about.

Another of our staff jokingly suggested we should follow Netflix’s policy of unlimited holidays. We looked at it, it made sense, we implemented it a few weeks later, and its working to benefit both staff and Dynamo for over 2 years.

Put all these together with schemes that balance incentives for doing your work well, and bonuses for going above and beyond, and you’ll begin to get an idea of the culture within Dynamo. And we firmly believe that you can have both a great culture, and be a profitable business.

So where does this leave us now? We’re twenty-odd staff strong, and in the past year have won awards for being the best small agency, and the best small agency to work for. How can we make our culture even more exciting? That is the question we’ll be posing staff and new hires in the coming weeks.

P.S. You can read our awesome full profile over at PRWeek here (subscription)


Five things we learned from the Consumer Electronics Show 2015

ChapStick: check. Cold and flu tablets: check. A comfy pair of shoes: check.

As a CES virgin, I did my research before flying out to Sin City and arrived prepared.

But Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show (CES to you and I) only becomes real once you’ve queued for 20 minutes and your press pass is around your neck.

So, this is what I learned from this year’s show: 

  1. Drones are taking over the world

For the very first year, CES had a dedicated area for ‘Unmanned Systems’, featuring drones in every shape and size; remote-controlled, autonomous, selfie-taking – you name it, there was a drone for it. I was fortunate enough to visit the Nevada desert with our client Hexo+, the world’s first self-flying camera, which was competing with AirDog, both autonomous drones, controlled via a smartphone and Bluetooth GPS, making drone filming and flying accessible for everyone.

  1. Kickstarter projects are on the rise

From crowdfunded drones, to smart inner-soles, to electric skateboards, there was a noticeable number of Kickstarter and Indiegogo stickers on company booths this year, promoting how they had launched their products, or if in prototype stage were planning to launch them. Indiegogo even manned its own stand this year, showcasing successful projects.

  1. Car tech is accelerating

Traditionally the biggest stands at CES are the largest tech companies but you certainly couldn’t miss seeing something automotive technology-related at this year’s show. BMW’s i3 electric cars displayed how they can find a parking space by themselves, while Audi’s autonomous A7 roamed the streets, and Ford announced a number of smartcar initiatives.

  1. Sony is in action mode

Is Apple planning a wearable camera? Who knows, but Sony could be one step ahead with its 4K handheld action cam offering. Sony had a big celebrity win through legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk unveiling its slick-looking water/shock/freeze-proof GoPro rival, which got the media seriously talking.

  1. Wearable tech is becoming more fashionable

Designs of many smartwatches have remained the same, however the Withings Activité Pop caught my eye, and was descried by TechCrunch as “one of the best-designed activity trackers to ever come to market”. Jaybird’s Reign is also very slick, but if you are more concerned about your pet’s health then perhaps you should invest in a FitBark, which tracks your dog’s fitness. Woof woof.

Despite some disappointment over no major announcements from the likes of Samsung, the forward-thinking innovation revealed by new start-ups on the scene and the large car manufacturers made CES 2015 a worthwhile visit, and the ultimate tech-filled start to 2015.


Happy New Year

It’s that time of year again where we wish total strangers happy 2015, usually for a week or two longer than usual.

At Dynamo we wanted to introduce you to our brand new look – our website has been completely updated with a stunning design to kick-off the new year. We have expanded our team and office by knocking down another wall over Christmas and building a smart new meeting room. We have loads of new members of staff and are also on the look-out for new stars – check out our job advert on PRWeek.com.

Dynamo won more campaign awards in the PRWeek’s than any other agency in 2013, was declared PRWeek’s small agency of the year in 2014 and, in 2015, goes from strength to strength. Over Christmas we’ve worked with Yelp to find the seven chimneys Santa should visit (Mirror coverage here), worked out who’s the weaker sex when it comes to mistletoe for Twoo (Metro coverage here) and, today, have launched 3Doodler 2.0 – already raising £250,000 in crowdfunding in just one day.

Although we’re only five days into the new year, we’re already in the middle of a number of exciting campaigns, with senior team members launching some exciting new products at CES in Las Vegas this week. If you want to work with us, or for us, please let us know and if not please let others know. Otherwise, let us just wish you the best of health, wealth and happiness for 2015.

Peter Bowles
Peter Bowles

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